Why was this catch by Chris Hogan for the Patriots against the Buccaneers, on October 5th 2017, a touchdown, as he caught the ball in the air and landed outside of the End Zone? I thought the catching player had to touch down with both feet?

  • 4
    I added a link to the official Highlight, which should be permanent. If it gets deleted, and we are in 2020, it was the patriots only touchdown of the night Q2 3:42
    – Fillet
    Oct 6, 2017 at 12:02

1 Answer 1


From a NFL Rulebook Rule 11: Scoring


A touchdown is scored when:

2. 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

Note 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.

And from NFL Rulebook Rule 3: Definitions


Item 1. Player in Possession. A player is in possession when he is inbounds and has a firm grip and control of the ball with his hands or arms.

Note 3: If a player has control of the ball, a slight movement of the ball will not be considered loss of possession. He must lose control of the ball in order to rule that there has been a loss of possession.

All these rules come into play for the case when the receiver lands outside the End Zone.

Look at this image, (taken from the linked video)


Which shows Chris Hogan is airborne inside the goal line, and ball is also inside the pylon which makes it a touchdown.

And from linked note, ball becomes dead in a legal possession of a player above the opponent’s goal line. He also has a firm grip and control of the ball which makes it a legal possession. So, it doesn't matter where he lands (as long as he is in bounds), that's why the catch is legal touchdown.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.