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David Moore’s catch was a product of the NFL’s simplified catch rule

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest issues facing the NFL in recent years—at least as it relates to the on-field product—was their convoluted, maddening catch rule. On a weekly basis, there was a new controversy surrounding a catch or a no catch.

The worst rule in sports came to a head during the Buffalo Bills’ trip to New England in Week 16 last season, when a Kelvin Benjamin touchdown was overturned. It was the latest in a line of insane, unjustifiable overturns. Worse for the league, a linesman was caught on Tyrod Taylor’s mic expressing the same disbelief shared by viewers everywhere:

Pressure was finally on the league to make a change, and they did. A simplified catch rule was put in place, and while still not perfect, it narrowed the definition of a “catch” to three points:

  1. Control of the ball.
  2. Two feet, or another body part, down.
  3. A football move.

The third point brings us to David Moore’s catch on a third down against the Packers on Thursday night. Moore corralled Russell Wilson’s pass with one hand—controlling it—with two feet down, before taking three more steps up field. The three steps qualify as a “football move,” meaning the ball coming loose afterwards is a fumble, whereas last year it would be viewed as Moore “not completing the process.”

Moore’s excellent effort would end up leading to a field goal for the Seahawks. It was a victory for common sense and watchable football. Prior to 2018, games would be derailed by a ridiculous catch decision far too often. The NFL did the right thing in fixing the catch rule, and Seattle benefited on Thursday night.