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NFL Says Antonio Brown's Catch And Fumble Counts As Touchdown Pass For Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are given credit for a touchdown catch and pass on a oddly scored play in Week 3 against Oakland.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The initial draft of Behind The Steel Curtain's gamer Sunday evening had Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger going for 384 yards and three touchdowns.

Two different scoring sources showed him as having thrown four touchdowns. It was interesting to see how wide receiver Antonio Brown's scoring play was ruled a touchdown reception, as opposed to a catch, a fumble and a recovery in the end zone.

According to Tribune-Review reporter Mark Kaboly, the NFL reviewed 20 scoring plays in Week 3, and upheld Brown's play as a touchdown reception.

But it's still counting as a fumble and a recovery, too.

One of the wonderfully frustrating things about professional football is how the sum of its parts don't equal the sum of its whole. Sack yardage lost is taken out of team passing but not the passer's stats. A player can rush for 10 yards on 1st-and-10 but not get credit for a first down. Things of that nature.

In this case, Roethlisberger and Brown are both being credited for a touchdown pass and catch, respectively, even though the league is marking Brown as having fumbled on the play. If he fumbled on the play, he could only have done that outside the end zone, otherwise the ball would be dead when he crossed the plane of the end zone.

For the same reason, if he's being charged with a fumble, it couldn't have been a touchdown pass.

To me, it looked like Brown fumbled the ball before crossing the goal line, and then recovered that fumble. That's a completed pass from Roethlisberger to Brown to the one yard line, a fumble, and a recovery. The NFL Gamebook lists Brown in the Steelers' fumble box as having two fumbles, one own-recovery, and no touchdowns.

So he got credit for a touchdown catch he didn't make, and a phantom fumble that he recovered in a place other than his end zone.

Gotta love revisionist history. It's nothing like the interception touchdown that Russell Wilson threw in Week 3, but it's nearly a guarantee the reason the league does it this way is due to Fantasy Football. While I suppose it's a victimless crime and truth-bend, the only concern is if/when Roethlisberger breaks his own single-season touchdown passing record of 32 (2007), will the historians remember Brown's fumble recovery touchdown reception in Week 3 of that year, and dismiss it?

Or maybe Roethlisberger just throws 44 touchdowns and we forget all about this.