The league office issued a further clarification of its officials' ruling on whether Murphy maintained possession of the ball. While Article 7 of the 2009 NFL Rule Book was applied in making the booth decision to reverse the touchdown, the NFL also is further citing its rule book for an explanation:
"In last night's game between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, the Raiders faced a 3rd and 5 from the Chargers' 19 with 0:50 remaining in the second quarter," the explanation reads. "The ruling on the field was a completed pass for a touchdown.
"The instant replay assistant stopped the game for an instant replay review to determine if the receiver maintained possession of the ball after he hit the ground.
"Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that 'if a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact with an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or in the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete."'
"The instant replay review determined that Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy did not maintain possession of the ball after he hit the ground. Thus, the on-field ruling of a touchdown was reversed by referee Carl Cheffers to an incomplete pass."
Without question, the judgment call made on the field and by the replay official has caused a furor among the Raiders and their loyal fans, who have felt they've been been on the short end of many calls throughout the years.
"The Louis Murphy Reversal" may not rank up there with the infamous "Tuck Rule" call against New England, but Raiders followers, and others throughout the NFL, are questioning the application of the possession rule.
One AFC coach told FanHouse on Tuesday that Cheffers' crew may indeed have made the correct call Monday night, but that he doesn't like the rule as it is currently written.
"Really, that is just a stupid rule, and it should be revisited in the offseason by the Competition Committee," the coach said.