Updated 2/10/2012 - Responses about the Safety Call in the Super Bowl:
Kurt Warner (Former NFL QB) - It was a Terrible Call
Shannon Sharpe (NFL Hall of Fame) - I agree with call, surprised they called it
Thurman Thomas (NFL Hall of Fame) - Nope (in response to if he’d ever seen the call)
Tom Brady was flagged for intentional grounding on the New England Patriots first offensive play, giving the NY Giants a safety.
The call was wrong.
You’ve seen it and heard television announcers normally chuckle when a ball sails 30 yards over a receivers head, down the middle of the field, near no one; Whoops, a little mis-communication between the quarterback and receiver on that play.
No flags has ever been thrown on a deep ball, down the middle of the field, well over anyone’s head, because it’s not intentional grounding; it’s bad communication between the quarterback and receiver.
The reason. On a long pass, quarterbacks often throw the ball before receivers cut, sometimes the receivers stops, goes left, goes right, sometimes it seems like the receivers are checking out girls in the crowd, and on these occasions, where communication is off the ball bounces 30 yards down the field away from all players.
This happened on the safety-play (pictured above) Tom Brady was pressured then threw the ball 50 yards down the middle of the field, over everyone’s head. The reason the play is never called a penalty is because the Z receiver conceivably could’ve run the deep pattern (dotted line).
Inconceivably, a flag was thrown, leading to nine NY Giants points.
The NFL has not responded to our repeated requests for comment. We’ll keep trying.