Ed Hochuli sticks by roughing the passer call against 49ers
Referee Ed Hochuli made a roughing the passer call on Sunday that put the final nail in the San Francisco 49ers’ coffin, and it was a bad one. The Niners dialed up pressure and forced an incomplete pass on 3rd-and-5. Nick Moody and Antoine Bethea appeared to put clean hits on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, but Hochuli didn’t see it that way.
After the game, Hochuli told reports that he made the correct call.
“I felt that he hit the quarterback in the chest with the hairline, and that’s a foul unless he has his face completely up and would hit it face on with the face mask,” he said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “It’s a foul, and that’s why I called it.”
“I felt that he hit him with the hairline. The facemask, after you hit him, the facemask comes up. But the first thing that hit him was the hairline of the helmet.”
Hochuli went on to explain that the hairline of the helmet and the crown of the helmet are two separate things. He said leading with either is a foul.
You can watch a video of the hit here.
While it’s possible that Hochuli made the right call by the book, even Fox Sports officiating expert Mike Pereira thought it was a bad call. The Seahawks were leading 10-7 at the time and would have settled for a field goal. Instead, they were awarded a first down and went on to score a touchdown.
If Moody’s hit on Wilson was illegal, there really is no way to hit a quarterback these days.