Just when the anger and complaints from a weekend of contempt
toward replacement officials couldn't get any hotter, a disputed
call trumps it all.
ref rage peaked Monday night thanks to Seattle's Golden Tate, and
a bizarre touchdown call that will be debated, questioned and
re-ignite frustrations over the locked-out officials.
a Green Bay defender out of the way, wrestled another for the ball
and was awarded a touchdown on the final play to give the Seahawks
a 14-12 victory over the Packers.
wasn't over for another 10 minutes after both teams went to their
locker rooms and were summoned back to the field for the extra
point. But that was just the cap to one of the most bizarre
finishes in recent memory.
ask me a question about the officials," Green Bay coach Mike
McCarthy said. "I've never seen anything like that in all my
years in football."
it's been a wild weekend in the NFL and I guess we're part of it
now," he said.
Wilson threw the 24-yard touchdown pass and the crew of
replacement officials agreed Tate caught the pass.
scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone
as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of
the way then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was
ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review,
referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced
"the ruling on the field stands" before the crowd at
CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.
both had possession of it. I don't even know the rule but I guess
the tie goes to the receiver," Tate said.
if he got his hands on Wilson's pass first, Tate wasn't so sure.
think so. ... Oh, well, maybe he did. But I took it from
him," Tate said.
a pool reporter after the game that the play was ruled as
simultaneous possession that was confirmed by the replay official.
both possessed it," Elliott said.
were far from convinced that Tate had possession. Jennings said he
had the ball pinned to his chest the entire time. A handful of
Packers players began venting on their Twitter accounts right
after the game, posting protest messages to their followers —
many of them too profane to print. Offensive lineman T.J. Lang
even challenged the NFL to "fine me and use the money to pay
the regular refs."
to Twitter to speak their minds.
Hall of Fame
quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted "These games are a
joke," while NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted "I simply just
LOVE the NFL to much to see these mistakes. I'm sick like I just
played for the Packers."
State Senator Jon Erpenbach even tweeted NFL Commissioner Roger
Goodell's office phone number, saying in a separate tweet that if
the ending Monday did not spark an end to the lockout "this
season will be a joke."
watching in the back room, I think if you asked Golden Tate to
take a lie detector test and ask him did he catch that ball or did
M.D. catch that ball, M.D. caught that," Packers wide
receiver Greg Jennings said. "It was clear as day ... at
least that is what my eyes saw."
instantly celebrated while the Packers argued with anyone in a
striped shirt. Both teams were eventually shoved to the sidelines
as Tate stomped through the end zone in celebration. Following the
review, Elliott's announcement sent the stadium into delirium and
even more confusion ensued until the teams finally returned to the
field for the extra point.
what I understood from the officials it was a simultaneous catch.
Tie goes to the runner. Good call," Seattle coach Pete
should not have found itself in the position of watching Wilson's
final heave be open for debate.
shook off a disastrous first half in which Aaron Rodgers was
sacked eight times and completely controlled possession in the
final 30 minutes. Green Bay ran 41 offensive plays in the second
half, got field goals of 29 and 40 yards from Mason Crosby and
Cedric Benson's 1-yard TD run with 8:44 left to take a 12-7 lead.
finished 26 of 39 for 223 yards and no turnovers. He had quite a
different opinion of the disputed catch.
awful. Just look at the replay. And then the fact that it was
reviewed, it was awful," he said. "That's all I'm going
to say about it.
shouldn't have been in that position."
Tate's second touchdown of the game after his 41-yard catch in the
second quarter gave Seattle a 7-0 lead. He finished with three
catches for 68 yards, while Wilson was 10 of 21 for 130 yards.
averted disaster when John Kuhn fumbled on the first play after
Seattle missed on a fourth-down pass attempt from the Packers' 7
with 2 minutes remaining. Center Jeff Saturday recovered the
fumble, but the Seahawks held and forced a punt from the 4 with 57
seconds left. The 41-yard punt set Seattle up at the Green Bay 46
with 46 seconds remaining.
Sidney Rice for 22 yards on a slant then went for Tate in the end
zone, but the ball was batted away with 18 seconds left. He threw
over the head of Evan Moore on second down, leaving 12 seconds on
the clock, and missed Tate again at the 5.
the final snap with 8 seconds remaining. He appeared to be looking
for Rice on the right side of the end zone, but rolled left and
threw for Tate, who was in a crowd of three defenders. His shove
of Shields was obvious and it was never clear in real-time who had
possession between Tate and Jennings.
just trying to keep possession of the ball. The guy who was
fighting me for it, he's strong. I was just trying to hold onto it
until our guys pulled them off of me," Tate said. "I
didn't know if they called touchdown, interception, incompletion .
I didn't know what was going on. Couldn't hear anything and I just
tried to keep fighting for the ball."
Seattle rookie DE Bruce Irvin had two of Seattle's eight sacks on
Rodgers in the first half. Chris Clemons led the way with four
sacks, tying an NFL record for most in the first half of any game.
... Benson finished with 45 yards rushing after having just 4
yards at halftime. ... Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch just missed his
seventh straight 100-yard rushing game at home with 98 yards on 25
carries. ... Green Bay finished with a 7-minute advantage in time
of possession after the teams each had 15 minutes of possession in
the first half.
Seahawks' disputed win over Packer
NEW YORK - The NFL conceded Tuesday that a bad call cost the
Green Bay Packers the game while upholding the Seattle Seahawks'
As coaches, players and fans — and even athletes in other sports
— ripped the use of replacement refs, the league met with its
locked-out officials Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the
Two people with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press
that the sides were meeting Tuesday. The people spoke on
condition of anonymity because the discussions were not made
The NFL said Seattle's last-second touchdown pass Monday should
not have been overturned — but acknowledged Seahawks receiver
Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass
interference before the catch for a 14-12 victory.
The ire around football at the struggles of the replacements had
been steadily building this season, and it reached an apex
Monday with what everybody had feared would happen: a highly
questionable call deciding a game.
On the final play of "Monday Night Football," Russell Wilson
heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone with Seattle
trailing 12-7. Tate shoved away a defender with both hands, and
the NFL acknowledged Tuesday he should have been penalized,
which would have clinched a Packers victory. But that cannot be
reviewed by instant replay.
Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings then both got their
hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had
clear possession for a game-ending interception.
"It was pinned to my chest the whole time," Jennings said.
Instead, the officials ruled on the field that the two had
simultaneous possession, which counts as a reception. Once that
happened, the NFL said, the referee was correct that no
indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the
"The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and
supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling
following the instant replay review," the league said in a
Saying there was no indisputable evidence, though, is not the
same as confirming the initial call was correct. When the
players came down with the ball, television showed one official
standing over the pile ruling touchdown, while another next to
him did not signal a score.
On his weekly appearance on Seattle radio station 710 KIRO-AM,
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made no apologies Tuesday, saying,
"The league backed it up and game over, we win."
"Golden makes an extraordinary effort. It's a great protection;
it's a great throw. It's a great attempt at the ball and he wins
the battle," he said. "They were right on the point looking
right at it, standing right over the thing and they reviewed it.
Whether they missed the push or not — obviously they missed the
push in the battle for the ball — but that stuff goes on all the
The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract
expired. Unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement,
the league opened the season with replacements, most with
experience only in lower levels of college football.