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Monday, October 20, 2014

Seahawks given win over Packers on controversial Hail Mary

If there was a call by the replacement referees controversial enough to spur a settlement between the NFL and the regular officials, this was it.

The Seahawks were given a 14-12 win over the Packers on Monday Night Football after the referees awarded Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate a 24-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the game though it was clear he didn’t control the ball.

Most fans, media members, commentators, and impartial viewers agreed that safety M.D. Jennings intercepted the pass. He possessed it and appeared to control the ball. It was only after Jennings had the ball that Tate seemed to wrestle it from him. And as you can see in the image below, the referees disagreed on the ruling of the play:

One referee thought the game ended with Green Bay winning 12-7, but another signaled touchdown. As is the case with all scoring plays, the officials had to review the call.

After reviewing the play, they awarded Golden Tate with a touchdown catch to put Seattle ahead 13-12, and by rule, Seattle had to kick an extra point to make it 14-12.

The officials ruled that Tate and Jennings had a simultaneous catch, which goes to the passing team. The problem is that Jennings had control of the ball first before Tate grabbed it, which by rule means it was not a simultaneous catch.

Rule 8 Section 1 Article 3 Item 5 of the NFL rule book states:

Item 5: Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.

In case you still don’t believe that Jennings had control of the football before Tate, look at this image:

The brutal call to end the game was the culmination of several awful calls by the referees. They missed a Golden Tate push-off earlier on the Hail Mary that should have been an offensive pass interference. They took an interception away from the Packers on a b.s. roughing the passer call. They let Sidney Rice get away with a pass interference.

To sum things up, we can say they called penalties where ones didn’t belong, and didn’t call them when they should have.

24 penalties, 245 yards, and one inexplicable call to give Seattle the game. Those are the replacement refs for you.



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