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Ravens’ Marcus Peters awarded game-changing turnover despite dropping football, confusing Twitter

The answer to the questions “What is a catch?” and “What is a clear recovery?” became the focus of Ravens (5-2) and Colts (5-2) fans on Sunday afternoon.

Baltimore cornerback Marcus Peters was awarded an interception against the Colts on a ball Peters appeared to drop. The play was ruled an incomplete pass on the field but, after review, the call was changed to an interception, fumble and clear recovery by the Ravens. It had an immediate impact on the game: Gus Edwards ran for a touchdown on the ensuing possession to give the Ravens a 14-10 lead — its first of the game — in the third quarter.

Peters can be seen backpedaling in front of Philip Rivers’ intended receiver, Marcus Johnson. Peters initially catches the ball in his two hands, while Johnson reaches in to try and pry the football loose. The cornerback takes about three steps moving backward before the ball starts to come loose; before Peters’ butt hit the ground, the ball popped out.

The referee on the near side of the field signaled incomplete and blew the play dead before a Ravens defender casually picked the ball up as the rest of the players returned to the line of scrimmage. Despite that whistle, the referees awarded the football to Baltimore after review.

Twitter was immediately up in arms about the play, which could directly impact two divisional races. One question, raised by Sporting News’ Mike Decourcy: “Can it be a clear recovery if the whistle has already blown?” There has been controversy in recent years about how to rule a pile-up fumble recovery after a blown whistle. Because the recovery in Baltimore had no dispute, it was allowed.

Here’s a look at some of the other thoughts folks had about Peters’ 30th career pick and Rivers’ 205th interception — maybe the least-convincing such play of either player’s career.

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