DETROIT – A year ago, Pete Carroll might not have thrown his challenge flag when he saw David Moore lose control of the ball as he hit the turf at the end of an apparent 27-yard catch in the second quarter of Sunday’s 28-14 win over the Lions.
But as Carroll and his coaches upstairs thought about it, they decided it was a perfect chance to test the league’s new interpretation of the catch rule – specifically, had Moore done enough to complete the catch?
“If you look at it a year ago, that would not have been a catch,” Carroll said. “But he got three steps down with the control of the football before it came out. This is like – I think it’s going to be a precise illustration of what the new interpretation was all about. So, we jumped on the chance at it.”
The replay officials agreed, overturning the initial ruling of an incompletion, giving Seattle the ball at the 50.
Nine plays later, the Seahawks were in the end zone for another touchdown that made it 21-7 and keyed the win over the Lions.
“Yeah, that was a big play,” Carroll said.
One of four Moore made in the game as he continued his emergence into one of Seattle’s key offensive players.
Moore finished with career highs in catches (four) and yards (97) and caught his fourth touchdown in three weeks.
Not bad for a player who a year ago at this time was a seventh-round pick languishing on the practice squad, but in the last four weeks has moved ahead of veteran free agents Jaron Brown and Brandon Marshall in the team’s receiving rotation (neither had a target Sunday).
“David Moore’s doing a great job,” Carroll said. “Doing all kinds of cool stuff for us.”
Along with the 27-yarder, Moore also had a 15-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter and a 45-yarder – another career-high – that set up Seattle’s final touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Moore seemed to consider it just all in a day’s work.
“It’s just a thing that you have to have,” he said of his growing confidence. “As wide receivers, that’s what we preach in the wide receiver room is having confidence in going out there and having fun. Our coach tells us that if the ball is in the air, it’s ours. So that’s what we do.”
The touchdown came on a play when Wilson saw Moore in man coverage with Detroit cornerback Nevin Lawson and lofted a fate pass his way. Moore bobbled it, then controlled it as he entered the end zone.
The play came on second down and Moore said the objective was simple. “You’ve ever got to knock it down or you’ve got to catch it,” he said. “Either one.”
A few minutes later came the pass initially ruled incomplete – only, as Moore watched the replay as he headed to the sideline he said he had a good feeling.
“As I was watching the replay I was saying ‘yeah that’s a perfect illustration (of the new rule, which was simplified to eliminate the “going-to-the-ground” provision),’ ” he said. “I had possession of it and I knew I did the whole time. As I was going down I was saying ‘I’ve got to keep it. I’ve got to keep it. I’ve got to strain, do what the coaches tell me. Got to strain.’ As I came down that’s when it popped out. Luckily, the new rule that we have it’s considered a catch. So I was blessed with that one.”
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