Zach Ertz nearly saw his go-ahead touchdown catch that lifted the Eagles to the franchises first Super Bowl overturned by the NFLs confusing catch rule.
If they had overturned that, I dont know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia, a smiling Ertz said on the stage at U.S. Bank Stadium after the 41-33 victory.
Ertz caught the ball and took three steps before diving into the end zone. After the ball crossed the goal line, the tight end lost control.
It was called an 11-yard TD on the field for a 38-33 lead with 2:21 to play. But the play looked similar to the TD scored by Steelers tight end Jesse James overturned in a regular season loss to the Patriots, so there was no certainty about the result of the review until Ertzs TD was upheld.
A catch controversy caused confusion earlier on the NFLs biggest stage at Super Bowl LII, as well.
Eagles rookie running back Corey Clement hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles to put Philadelphia up, 29-19, on the New England Patriots with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter. Clement got two feet in bounds before his toe on his third step touched the white line at the back of the end zone.
The play was called a touchdown on the field, and appeared to be the correct call. But when it went to review, NBC announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth both felt strongly that Clements catch would be overturned incomplete.
Plenty of media covering the game agreed that Clements slight bobble of the ball meant he hadnt established possession until his second step and therefore had gotten only one foot in bounds before touching the white line.
This was based on the NFLs overturning of several similar calls this season based on a backwards catch rule that commissioner Roger Goodell is making a priority to correct with the competition committee this offseason.
But Al Riveron, the NFLs head of officiating who was in Minneapolis to review all replays as he had all season from the league headquarters in New York, upheld the call of touchdown on the field by Gene Steratores crew.
Many fans and folks watching the game threw up their hands, as did Michaels and Collinsworth. But Dean Blandino, the NFLs ex-V.P. of officiating now working as a FOX NFL analyst, defended Riverons decision.
Issue is control, Blandino tweeted. Looks like he has it initially and gets both feet down in bounds. There is some movement of the ball, but dont think enough to say loss of control. Call should stand.