Did Harry Douglas Really Have Possession of This Catch?

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Did Harry Douglas Really Have Possession of This Catch?

A controversial catch by Harry Douglas almost went down as the turning point in the NFC Championship Game between the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers.

Down 28-24 late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons were in a tough third-down situation. Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones had made all but one of the team's catches to that point, so it was somewhat surprising when QB Matt Ryan floated a pass to a wide-open Douglas.

As Douglas ran alone along the right sideline, he stumbled in an attempt to haul in the seemingly easy reception.

Douglas got both hands on the ball, but it moved quite a bit as he fell to the ground. While the ball definitely hit the turf, the ruling was that Douglas maintained possession the entire time.

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh made his feelings clear on the ruling.

Was this call correct? Twitter reaction varied greatly on the subject:

 

B/R Lead Writer Ty Schalter summed up the divide nicely.

 

 

ESPN's Bob Wischusen lamented Douglas' ability to stay upright:

 

 

Former referee Mike Pereira was clear in his affirmation of the catch.

 

 

Don Banks cited a bit of history in his assessment of the play.

 

 

Regardless of everyone's personal opinion, the ruling ended up meaning little as Atlanta was unable to score on the possession.

San Francisco went on to win the game, 28-24.

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