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NFL Official Explains Controversial Hunter Henry Catch Ruling

The NFL logo in the middle of Metlife Stadium.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: A detail of the official National Football League NFL logo is seen painted on the turf as the New York Giants host the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The officiating crew for last night's Patriots-Vikings matchup made one of the more controversial decisions of the 2022 season.

During the second half of last night's shootout, Patriots tight end Hunter Henry reeled in what seemed to be an obvious touchdown. The play was ruled a touchdown on the field, but the officiating crew went to the booth to review the call.

The referees decided that Henry didn't maintain control of the ball as he hit the turf.

Fans and analysts from around the world were baffled by this call — but the officials are sticking with their original explanation.

NFL senior V.P. of officiating Walt Anderson shared his official explanation for the call when asked by reporters on Thursday night:

"He was going to the ground, the ball ended up touching the ground and then he lost control of the ball in his hands.

“Because as he’s going to the ground, he has to maintain control of the ball upon contacting the ground. The term that’s commonly used is ‘surviving the ground.’ A lot of people refer to that. So, as he’s going to the ground, he has the elements of two feet and control, but because he’s going to the ground, he has to maintain control of the ball when he does go to the ground.”

The Patriots ultimately lost their Thanksgiving Day contest with a 33-26 final score — moving their season record to 6-5.