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Section 2 Touchdown 
TOUCHDOWN PLAYS 
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when: 
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who 
has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or 
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball 
passed over or inside the pylon; or 
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s 
body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or 
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s 
goal line; or 
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. 
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES 
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s
goal line. 
(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes 
the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7. 

Section 2 Touchdown

TOUCHDOWN PLAYS

Article 1 Touchdown Plays.

A touchdown is scored when:

(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or

(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball passed over or inside the pylon; or

(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or

(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line; or

(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act.

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES

(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line.

(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7.

Section 2 Touchdown 
TOUCHDOWN PLAYS 
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when: 
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who 
has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or 
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball 
passed over or inside the pylon; or 
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s 
body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or 
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s 
goal line; or 
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. 
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES 
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s
goal line. 
(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes 
the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7. 

Section 2 Touchdown

TOUCHDOWN PLAYS

Article 1 Touchdown Plays.

A touchdown is scored when:

(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or

(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball passed over or inside the pylon; or

(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or

(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line; or

(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act.

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES

(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line.

(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7.

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You're not incorrect in your belief; the ball does have to be across the goal line. See the rulebook:

Section 2 Touchdown 
TOUCHDOWN PLAYS 
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when: 
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who 
has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or 
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball 
passed over or inside the pylon; or 
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s 
body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or 
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s 
goal line; or 
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. 
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES 
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s
goal line. 
(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes 
the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7. 

Unfortunately, that video does not give us the view we would need to correctly identify whether the ball crossed or touched the goal line. I assume the NFL folks upstairs did have this view, and that the ball did cross the goal line, or they would've reviewed the call. From the video you linked, it easily could have gone either way; he was mostly vertical when he made the catch (ie, his hands weren't very far extended in front of him) so it's reasonable to believe the ball may have crossed the plane.

Note: there is one instance where this matters, and that's where the ball crosses the plane (extended) out of bounds. If an airborne runner crosses the goal line, the ball must pass in bounds (over or inside of the pylon). If the receiver/runner is himself in bounds, the ball may be out of bounds when it crosses the extended plane of the goal line. This doesn't seem to matter in this case, but it is relevant to the rule overall.

You're not incorrect in your belief; the ball does have to be across the goal line. See the rulebook:

Section 2 Touchdown 
TOUCHDOWN PLAYS 
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when: 
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who 
has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or 
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball 
passed over or inside the pylon; or 
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s 
body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or 
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s 
goal line; or 
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. 
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES 
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s
goal line. 
(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes 
the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7. 

Unfortunately, that video does not give us the view we would need to correctly identify whether the ball crossed or touched the goal line. I assume the NFL folks upstairs did have this view, and that the ball did cross the goal line, or they would've reviewed the call. From the video you linked, it easily could have gone either way; he was mostly vertical when he made the catch (ie, his hands weren't very far extended in front of him) so it's reasonable to believe the ball may have crossed the plane.

You're not incorrect in your belief; the ball does have to be across the goal line. See the rulebook:

Section 2 Touchdown 
TOUCHDOWN PLAYS 
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when: 
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who 
has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or 
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball 
passed over or inside the pylon; or 
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s 
body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or 
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s 
goal line; or 
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. 
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES 
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s
goal line. 
(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes 
the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7. 

Unfortunately, that video does not give us the view we would need to correctly identify whether the ball crossed or touched the goal line. I assume the NFL folks upstairs did have this view, and that the ball did cross the goal line, or they would've reviewed the call. From the video you linked, it easily could have gone either way; he was mostly vertical when he made the catch (ie, his hands weren't very far extended in front of him) so it's reasonable to believe the ball may have crossed the plane.

Note: there is one instance where this matters, and that's where the ball crosses the plane (extended) out of bounds. If an airborne runner crosses the goal line, the ball must pass in bounds (over or inside of the pylon). If the receiver/runner is himself in bounds, the ball may be out of bounds when it crosses the extended plane of the goal line. This doesn't seem to matter in this case, but it is relevant to the rule overall.

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You're not incorrect in your belief; the ball does have to be across the goal line. See the rulebook:

Section 2 Touchdown 
TOUCHDOWN PLAYS 
Article 1 Touchdown Plays. A touchdown is scored when: 
(a) the ball is on, above, or behind the plane of the opponents’ goal line (extended) and is in possession of a runner who 
has advanced from the field of play into the end zone; or 
(b) a ball in possession of an airborne runner is on, above, or behind the plane of the goal line, and some part of the ball 
passed over or inside the pylon; or 
(c) a ball in player possession touches the pylon, provided that, after contact by an opponent, no part of the player’s 
body, except his hands or feet, struck the ground before the ball touched the pylon; or 
(d) any player who is legally inbounds catches or recovers a loose ball (3-2-3) that is on, above, or behind the opponent’s 
goal line; or 
(e) the Referee awards a touchdown to a team that has been denied one by a palpably unfair act. 
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES 
(1) The ball is automatically dead when it is in legal possession of a player and is on, above, or behind the opponent’s
goal line. 
(2) If a player attempts to catch a pass, the ball is not dead, and a touchdown is not scored, until the receiver completes 
the catch. See Rule 3, Section 2, Article 7. 

Unfortunately, that video does not give us the view we would need to correctly identify whether the ball crossed or touched the goal line. I assume the NFL folks upstairs did have this view, and that the ball did cross the goal line, or they would've reviewed the call. From the video you linked, it easily could have gone either way; he was mostly vertical when he made the catch (ie, his hands weren't very far extended in front of him) so it's reasonable to believe the ball may have crossed the plane.