Mike Zimmer on NFL catch rule: 'The whole thing's messed up'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Mike Zimmer is just like the rest of us struggling to figure out what does and doesn’t constitute as a catch in the NFL.

Before halftime in the Vikings' 31-24 loss to the Panthers, Adam Thielen landed in bounds after catching a pass in the corner of the end zone on third down. Thielen had possession of the ball initially, but once his body made contact with the ground, the ball shifted in his hands. The Minnesota receiver had control of the ball the entire way before hitting the ground.

The NFL’s rule for completing a catch states that a player “must maintain complete and continuous control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, or the pass is incomplete.”

The play initially was ruled a touchdown and was overturned after review because of the slight bobble. Instead of taking a 17-14 lead into halftime, the Vikings settled for a field goal and trailed the Panthers 14-13.

CBS’ cameras panned over to Zimmer on the sideline after the touchdown was overturned. The Vikings coach was irate and seen yelling in the direction of referees while Thielen slammed his helmet into the ground.

“I just think the whole thing’s messed up,” Zimmer said. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I know what a catch looks like. The ball moved a little bit, yeah, but he caught the ball."

"I felt confident I had caught it, but that’s the NFL," Thielen added. "You have to possess it and the ball can’t move. The ball moved a little bit. That’s just how it is.”