Replacement referees missed a penalty that would have rendered moot a controversy over whether a Seattle Seahawks receiver caught a game-winning touchdown pass a moment later, the National Football League said Tuesday.
The Green Bay Packers would have won the game had offensive pass interference been called against Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, but the missed penalty wasn't reviewable.Â So theÂ officials' controversial on-field ruling that Tate subsequently scored a touchdown by having joint possession of the ball with a Packers defenderÂ stands.
The touchdown - which over the last day has become a symbol of player and fan frustration over the NFL's replacement referees - gave Seattle a 14-12 win. "The result of the game is final,"Â the NFL said in a news release Tuesday.
The NFL also said that it supports a referee's decision, after he reviewed the play Monday night, that no indisputable evidence existed to overturn the on-field ruling that Tate scored.
Commentators on ESPN,Â which showed the "Monday Night Football" game, questioned whether Tate really caught the ball, penalty or not. The play has sparkedÂ a full-open revolt by fans and players over replacement referees, who are standing in for officials that the NFL has locked out during a labor dispute.
"Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs," Packers guard T.J. Lang tweeted minutes after the game ended, one in a series of profanity-laced tweets accusing the referees of taking the game from his team.
Here's how the play unfolded: With seconds remaining and Seattle down 12-7, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a deep pass into the end zone. Tate and Packers safety M.D. Jennings went up for the ball, and referees eventually ruled - after officials gave competing signals - that both possessed the ball simultaneously. Under NFL rules, simultaneous possession goes to the offense, so the officials ruled the play a touchdown for Tate with time expired.
Replays, however, showed two potential problems: First, Tate appears to shove Packers defender Sam Shields in the back while the ball is in the air, a move that normally would draw an offensive pass interference penalty. Second, the footage appears to show Jennings first having both arms wrapped around the ball while Tate had one arm on it, so simultaneous possession appears questionable. The ball eventually was pulled tight to Jennings' chest.
The referees reviewed the play, and let it stand, giving Seattle the win.
The NFL essentially said Tuesday that the Packers should have won because Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference, "which would have ended the game" with the Packers ahead.
However, a missed offensive pass interference call is not reviewable, the NFL said, so nothing could be done about that part of the play when it was reviewed by referee Wayne Elliott.
As for the ruling on the catch, the NFL said: "Eliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood."
"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 NFL said Tuesday.
Discussion of the call virtually took over Twitter in the United States and sparked rising calls for the NFL to quickly settle its labor dispute with officials.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy declined to specifically address the call in his post-game news conference but said later that he had "never seen anything like that in all my years in football."
See the play in photosÂ |Â Week 3: Photos
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers called the officiating "awful."
Coming away with a close win, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was less critical.
"From what I understand from the officials, it was a simultaneous catch, that's how they called it," Carroll told reporters. "Tag goes to the runner. Good call."
But he said it's sill time for the dispute to end.
"It's a very, very complex process to handle these games and make the decisions, and there's nothing easy about it," he said. "And it takes years and years of experience to pull it off properly and in a timely fashion and to keep the flow of the game alive and all of that, and it's just time for it to be over."
"The league deserves it," Carroll said. "Everybody deserves it."
Controversy over the replacement officials has been simmering since the preseason. A series of missed or muffed calls has riled coaches, players and fans.
On Thursday, the NFL Players Association sent a letter to league owners saying the decision to hire replacement referees "has led to a deteriorating of order, safety and integrity."
"This affirmative decision has not only resulted in poor calls, missed calls and bad game management, but the combination of those deficiencies will only continue to jeopardize player health and safety and the integrity of the game that has taken decades to build," the union wrote.
It's also affecting gamblers.Â Betters lost an estimated $150 million on the call, gambling expert R.J. Bell said on the gaming website Pregame.com.
Bell also writes that home crowds seem to be influencing officials and that scoring is up from Las Vegas expectations.
The outcry for a resolution appeared to be growing after the Monday night game.
On Tuesday, the website FootballZebras.com, which tracks officiating in the NFL, said the Monday night call was "beyond the tipping point, this is the drowning point."
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney got into the game on Tuesday, saying he would introduce legislation against holding sporting events officiated by replacement referees.
"This past weekend in the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety," Sweeney said in a statement released by his office Tuesday morning. "We wouldn't allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?"
Discussion of the game also accounted for at least four of the top 10 topics on Twitter in the United States, where everyday fans and celebrities appeared united in their frustration. Even President Obama weighed in on the issue.
Does this ruin football for you? Share your commentary with CNN iReport.
Stephen A. Smith, never one to keep his opinion close to the vest, let it fly on Twitter throughout the end of the game.
According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the two sides in the labor dispute are about $3.3 million apart.
Here's a look at some more of the reaction on Twitter:
That last one might not be an official account.
Regarding the NFL's labor dispute with its regular officials, sticking points include salary issues and changes to the officials' retirement program.
What do you think of the final play, of the game or of the replacement officials?
Click here for the best photos from Week 3 of the NFL season.
The REAL blame for all this lies with the Packers' defensive back M.D. Jennings. The controversy never even happens if he slaps the ball down, as they are TRAINED repeatedly to do. NEVER try and intercept a hail mary in the end zone, DBs are told incessantly in training camp. He bats it down, the Packers are 2-1.
your lost it was in the end zone and 5 opponents were touching him and CLEARLY an interception, game over, by the very NFL's Own Rulebook And the Very definition of Credibility and Honesty and every poster that claims the NFL MUST overturn the result of that game should it wish to have Any EVER again from this point forward is a 100% MUST !
So ... Jennings, who intercepted the pass, is responsible for the ref making the wrong call?? Seriously? Tate shoved another player to the ground (pass interference on the O), and Jennings caught the ball, and you're actually blaming Jennings for the refs not calling either one correctly? Let's blame Matthews...he should have sacked the QB, caused a fumble, and then recovered it. That's what he should have done...it's Clay's fault.
@Woodrow totally agree with you obviously Clays fault man, he ran to slow and didnt kill the guys in his way! What a shame. *Joining in on your sarcasm :D*
@Brandi Wolf : You use the one-arm, chest definition as though it is in the rulebook, but it is not. One arm vs two arms is not a criteria at all. First possession is in the rules, but if simultaneous reception is the call it doesn't matter if one guy has one hand vs the other guy having both hands.
This article has a Derrick Rose tweet that is not from Derrick Rose. His account is @drose please correct this.
The article states the uncertainty of the tweet being "official".
Or did you miss that part?
Not saying it would have worked(odds are it would have), just saying we wouldn't be blaming the bum officials for the outcome of the game. The game would have been decided by the actions of the players in the game not by an official. I think we all would prefer it that way(including the players).
actually Bsquared...replacement ref or not the game would have been decided by an official. If the call goes the other way seattle would be the one complaining. There were mistakes and missed calls last season. It just so happens that every play this is being scrutinized and replayed to hunt for mistakes. I hope they do the same for the regular crews when they return.
Seattle would have nothing to complain about. IT was THE WRONG CALL. How can a team complain about a right call. COME-ON MAN; wake up!
Killngrill, it was a poor call amongst many.... if it hadnt been for a phantom pass interference on GB's 2nd TD drive there would have been no need for the hail mary, seattle would have won by 1 soo the moral of the story is we need our refs back
Seahawk receiver had possession, albeit only for an instant. But, once he had possession of the ball, that is a touchdown, and at that moment, the play is over. Touchdown. That the defensive player then wrestled the ball away from him is inconsequential. Touchdown already scored. Play over. Good call. That's why it held up under video replay. They got the call right. That's all that matters.
what the hell are you talking about ! ! ! The defender caught the ball fool .Not the receiver .What were you watching ?? besides, Offensive pass interference should have been the call.The catch itself is moot !
Touching the ball doesn't = possession. Every tipped pass would be in the possession of the lineman who touched it. Jennings had ball to chest and both arms around it. Tate was reaching an arm in there. Possession Jennings.
What game were you watching? The Packer player had control and was clutching it to his chest. He went to the ground with it as the Seattle player stuck one arm in and tried to take it away. That is not a simultaneous catch by any means. Also, it was not reviewable as to possession, only as to whether it was actually caught.
When did Tate have any type of possession on this play? Take your blinders off man!
That Seattle defense had Aaron Rodgers running around like a scared chicken with it's head cut off. Watch the game and you will see Green Bay and Rodgers being dominated by a much improved Seattle defense is where Green Bay lost the game, not on one play that, upon further review, was proven to be the right call. Take that CHEESE off your head and have a slice with your WHINE. Your team sucks this year. Deal with it.
Joe Meat. Look again. Not only defensive pass interference, but Jennings (GB) had possession of the ball until he was on the gound, and only then did Seattle pull the ball away.
Seahawk fans saw that but you are wrong.
You may want to brush up on the rules a little. Player must make the catch, establish possession, and establish position in the end zone. If you watch the replay, Mays (who is one of my all time favorite athletes) actually loses possession as he hits the ground only to quickly try to strip the ball from Jennings. At worst it should have been called incomplete. Mays never ever establishes possession, and Jennings clearly does.
I hate the Packers as much as the next guy, but calling that play a touchdown is the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen in football game in my life.
Sorry Joe Meat. The defender had full possession of the ball before the offensive player, and he maintained the possession through the end of the play. If they had touched the ball at the same time, it would have been simultaneous possession. It was not simultaneous, though, because the defender established control first. This was obvious from the replay.
Wow... Entirely wrong... First off they missed the blatant pass interference call and during the review it's clear that the defensive player had possession of the ball first with the offensive player wrestling to gain possession on the ground. In no way did Golden Tate catch that ball.
Terrible call by the officiating crew, coming up short twice in the final seconds of the game like that is unacceptable.
Well, it was kinda Green Bay's fault they lost: Should've just knocked the ball down.
Regardless, terrible call by the refs and you don't need glasses to know this was not a case of simultaneous possession
That would be fine if it weren't for the fact that the defensive player is the the first one to touch and gain possesion of the ball......other than that little fact, you would be right.
How long have been a Seahawk fan?
how about simply batting the ball down....
They would not have had anything to complain about on that play. However, the missed pass interference two play before and the brutal "phantom" pass interference that set up GB go-ahead TD in the first place would give them plenty of reason. Maybe not as dramatic, but plenty of reason.
But in the end seattle won...bad call or not. I saw about fifty cheeze heads fall out on the floor crying, scraming, cursing....LMAO. NFL gotta love it..
Now I'm not a Seahawks nor am I a Packers fan, but that was a ridiculous call by the ref. Not only did they ignore Tate pushing the other GB player near him (Lewis?), but on top of it they're saying Tate caught the ball! These refs are totally blind!! I thought that instant replay was to avoid these sort of wrong calls!! And I get the whole rule about two players catching the ball at the same time, but Tate didn't catch the ball, Jennings did. It's very obvious. If Seahawks players and fans believe they won this game fairly, they're mistaken.
Some people complain no matter what but the call in the GB/Seattle game was the worst in a long time. It cost GB the game and even someone who has never seen football before would be able to tell you that the player from GB had possession of the ball.
WORST CALL EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hmm, I thought the fact that Green Bay only mustered 12 points cost them the game... regardless of the bad call(s) that went against BOTH teams, Seattle's defense shutdown Green Bay all game...
Completely right you are, and I agree. Let's see this level when the reg. refs return. I'm betting not.
....................SORRY JIMBO...............CLEARLY AN .......... I N T
If they do, Ed "Captain Biceps" Hochuli would sue the NFL for paying too close attention, even though it would mean he'd get to show off his pythons more often. ðŸ˜›
I still remember his blown call in the Denver-San Diego game that turned the game in favor of Denver. The "real" guys have the same problems as these guys, they just don't catch as much grief for it.
This is the whole point. In virtually each of these 'worst calls of the decade' that we have seen these 3 weeks, I am able to immediately recall an analogue by a 'real ' official. I love football, but I do not have any special cable package. I watch, perhaps, 2 games per week, plus a combined hour of highlight shows. And I can clearly recall a similar issue for each and every call, with the old officials. Imagine what we could do if we all went back to the videos, and critiqued the old refs!?!? Do you think we might find pass interference calls on Hail Mary plays? Would we find issues with where the officials tossed their hats or beanbags? ( The late Orlando Brown felt Jeff Tripplette was bad enough to sue the league for $200 million) Would there be foot in / out controversies? End Zone pylon controversies? Left Foot / Right Foot spots? Referees placing the ballin the wrong spot on a restart/ These things all happened. And we shined about them back then. The replacements are not great, but they are also not that much worse.
The problem is, the Packers aren't the ones complaining. The ENTIRE sports world is complaining. These 3rd or 4th rate refs just plain SUCK.
There were 10 bad calls the last quarter of this game, all againest Green Bay. Explain that, please. I think I know what's up, some slack refs are getting paid off ðŸ™‚
GB got robbed of a win...but, we've got bigger issues than that. When did our offense start to suck? How about some protection for the QB? How about some more accurate passes Rogers? How about catching the ball receivers? How about running for more than 45 lousy yards Cedric?...
I agree. I hope the fans and the media scrutinize every call just as much when the regular refs return.
There are missed penalties (and phantom penalties) in every game of every season. This is not a new thing. I will agree that the replacement refs are not as polished and are making a few more mistakes, but if the regular refs were officiating that last play in Seattle, the outcome may have been exactly the same - a no call on the pass interference, a conference by the on-field refs to make the touchdown call, and the replay booth upholding the on-field call.
I think the replacement refs have been unlucky in that there have been some untimely weird plays.
Seattle would have nothing to complain about, there was an interception, no doubt. Even Seahawks fans admitted it.
Like the fact that if the defender would have just knocked the ball to the ground as he's been coached to do in that situation the "refs" would not have made the wrong call - INCOMPLETE PASS GAME OVER!
If he would have knocked it down then a seattle player could have still caught it.
Agreed. On a hail mary play you bat the ball down. End of story.
the Ref's blew another call the previous drive by Seattle when they took away an interception with a bogus roughing the passer call. that would have given Green Bay the ball and they could have closed out the game. they got cheated TWICE
That roughing the passer call was for hitting Wilson below the knees, and was in no way bogus, because he did hit him below the knees. That's pretty well the only call I agreed with in the whole game.
Lets not forget that on the Packers touchdown drive Kam Chancellor was called for PI when it clearly wasnt. That would have killed GB's drive resulting in either a punt or a FG. There were bad calls all throughout the game. Let's also not forget how in the first half Seattle's defense dominated the GB offense. Still to hold the Packers to 12 points is pretty spectacular.
Don't forget pass interference against GB. 37 yards! Defender was facing the ball the whole way and he himself got mugged from behind. That might have been the worst call of the bunch.
Hey, you realized they missed calls for Seattle too right? How about that bogus pass interference call that kept Green Bay's last scoring drive alive? Who knows what would have happened had Seattle got the stop AND got the ball back then, could have been just as big of a game changer. Haven't you heard hindsight is 20/20? Do you understand what that really means?
Three times. Same drive, defensive pass interference call after Seattle receiver plainly wrapped his arms around the defender, with one hand grabbing the facemask before it was over. No excuses for this garbage officiating. The fundamentals are the same in high school, college or the pros. Judgement call messed up is subject to opinion, but missing TWO offensive interference calls committed in plain sight is an outright travesty to the game.
As well as the DPI that went against Shields who was obviously the victim? 32 yard gain.
"Roughing the passer" What baloney!
Technically – they got cheated THREE times...if they would have called OFFENSIVE pass interference instead of charging Sam Shields with DEFENSIVE interference earlier in the drive – the Seahawks wouldn't have been anywhere CLOSE to the red zone.
The NFL is simply caving in to the pressure of media criticism. The possession going to the Seattle receiver was exactly the right call and it was very easy to see from a slow motion replay. The Seattle player had his hands on the ball first and he came down with it first before the defender tried to struggle the ball away and into his chest. Even after the defender came down the receiver still had his hands wrapped around the ball for a dual possession. Tie goes to the offensive player...Perfect call by the refs...no question about it. If the push in the back by the receiver is the NFL's claim then they are correct. Offensive pass interference could have and probably should have been called. The Seattle receiver did push in the back before the ball was caught by anyone but because the refs were mostly blocked from viewing that push. There is still a question of whether the push directly effected the catch because the defender pushed might have been too far in front of the play anyway. The defender who was in the play clearly jumped over the back of the Seattle receiver to try to intercept the ball but all players are allowed to have a chance at the ball in the air. It doesn't matter in the end because tie goes to the offensive player.
You're either blind, a Seahawks fan, someone just wanting to stir the pot or all 3.
I totally agree! The call was correct. These are "replacement" refs. Key word being "replacement" Furthermore it should have never came down to this. 12 pts for 4 quarters u deserve to lose. Also some of these coaches r not helping the situation at all. They're crying and whining more than the players. A "great"coach understand the fundamentals of the game which means the team must be prepared to face the good, the bad and in this case the ugly. Until all is resolved, suck it up and play ball. By the way I'm a woman and yes I like football! PEACE!
Are you on drugs?
This guy either lives in Seattle or is legally blind. In any event Dead Wrong.
I don't know what you are smoking, but 99% of America sees that as an int, with offensive pass interference not called.
Defender clearly had the ball in his chest. The refs did not have the cahoons to overturn!
What game were YOU watching??? Evidently not the one last night. Jennings caught the ball first. Tate had one arm on the top. Watch the ref's signal... One is signaling a touchback, the other a touchdown AFTER he saw the first stick his arms up.
You need glasses man. The Seattle player did not have his hands on the ball first, etc etc as you state. You better get a new TV set or something.
What game were you watching? You are blind. The GB player was above the rest and had the ball in both his hands as Tate's right hand was below it an not even touching it at the height of the catch. It is a moot point when the fact is Tate should have been called for an easy push. That ref was looking directly at the scrum and failed to make that easy call which should have ended it. That's indisputable.
What game were you watching?! The ESPN crew, on the field, and almost every football pundit (includes players who actually know what they're talking about), say that Jennings had possession of that ball. And, when you look at the replay, Tate actually takes his hand off the ball to reposition his grip from underneath. At the very least, it's incomplete because he didn't maintain possession all the way to the ground. I take the word of former coaches and players, not to mention CLEAR video evidence over whatever you saw.
You were obviously watching a different game. The GB defender (Jennings) had sole possession of the ball as he came down, and Tate shoved his hand between the two. There was no portion of the possession that was Seattle's. The ref who called TD actually thought GB was on offense, he was calling TD for Green Bay, not Seattle. That's how out of it the replacement officials are.
You say the offensive player had possession!?!? Clearly you weren't watching the same game.
Rich you must be living in a bubble. I and thousands watched it and it was very apparent the GB (Jennings) had it first.
PI was not called GAME OVER! Packers WIN
Rich2012 – The obvious call that was missed was a blatent offensive pass interference by the Seahawks receiver. The ref was standing right there when he pushed the safety to the ground. Possession does not matter as the fate of the play would have been decided after the flag. Watch the game next time!
Perhaps they are showing different versions of the replay up in Washington, but the version I've seen countless times today certainly doesn't jibe with your assessment. In fact, no one seems to see what you've described.
Everyone understands being a fan and rooting for your team, but there's a point where you also have to root for the integrity of the game and fair play.
you are proof that if your team was in the game you see the results through team color filters. ie.... you did not see the same thing that 99 percent of the football world saw.
Rich you have to be kidding, oh I get you are a Sea Hawk fan. REALLY you think Tate had the ball first WHAT replay were you watching!!!!!!!!! IT cant be the same one that over 90 percent of the nation agree that The defensive player had his hands on the ball first and possesing it all the way to the ground!! When did they change the rule when the offensive player catches the defensive player with the ball gets a touch down. You need the ball not the player. Cmon man REALLY you better get some lasik to fix you eyes
Agreed, and everyone who disagree's is a hater.
Are you crazy Rich 2012? What game were you watching? Jennings caught the ball and had it clutched against his chest. It never left his possession. Tate touched it – I repeat touched it – with ONE arm and that one arm came off the ball at one point before they hit the ground. Like I said before and will stand by, I did not realize it was a catch if you caught the player who had the ball.
Apparently you were watching a different game than everyone else.
Everyone is complaining about the last play of the game, maybe if the Packers could've kept their quarterback off his back (8 sacks in the first half alone!) They wouldn't have had to rely on the last play of the game for a win.
Did someone say that the Packers should just forfeit every game? Yeah, why doesn't the owner simply burn a couple hundred million as well. Its a GAME! A GAME! Have fun watching it then go back to reality.
Simultaneous possession belongs to the offense. If the receiver had his hand on the ball the whole time that the defender did, the call was correct. Never mind the push-off. The 'real' refs would not have called that either because they were either watching the ball or wanted to increase the excitement of the play.
This article appears to have a clear opinion. Do you think it does?
I think GB should be awarded the game... The replacement referee made a very very bad call..
Simultaneous Catch – That would involve each player having it from the Apex, both players having TWO hands on the ball.
The one thing I heard last night from a previous ref they were talking to was under review they couldn't decide interception or not. That seemed weird – what would they review for than?
you can't determine possession at the apex because neither player had a foot on the ground. no possesssion without both feet in bounds.
Until the fans STOP paying the inflated ticket prices and start to demand equaity for the real refs this kind of outrageous call will continue. As much as I love the Seahawks, they didn't make a fair, clean catch and GB was robbed of a win. You can all blame the replacement guys all you want but once again the all powerful and high and mighty owners really don't give a damn about us or the players safety or anything other than their bottom line. They want to pay minimum wage (an expression here only) for quality work. They are motivated by 1 thing, the level of their own GREED. Is anyone really surprised at this? I doubt it. So get off your butts, stop paying for diamonds when you are getting cut glass. Stand by these refs/umps and put your wallets away for awhile. The greedy, sleazy owners might just have to face the reality like the rest of us – that good workers deserve fair pay.
Comments please .....
First they cost the Patriots the win . Now this. I guess this is the year weaker teams should take advantage.
I remember over the last couple years how even the "real" refs were taken a bunch of heat for blown calls. Does anyone remember the lions bears game? I remember people wanting to can Ed Hoculee. Quit blaming the refs and just play football.
Really? Learn to spell and enunciate bumpkin
Refs made the right call. Get over it, and move on. Pack maybe 1-15 this year?
There was nothing simultaneous about that interception. ðŸ™‚
You should have gone with Ernie – Ernie had style.
Look homer, there may very well be a turnaround on this game after it is reviewed. Seattle's defense is good, but the offense is just plain bad.
They will not go past the second round of playoffs – you heard it here first.
These refs are the same ones that most of these athletes have played with in high school college. There are always bad calls. it is part of the game. The coaches, players and Announcers should stop crying and play the game.
They are playing the game, but it is hard to play when the refs do not follow the rules.
Finding it hard to have respect Carroll, Wilson and Tate, who claimed that it was a good call? Really??
Wow. This is why I'm not watching football (other than my home team) until they get the real peple in.
Since I am not a "homer" for either team, I believe I am 100% impartial when I say the refereeing has been pretty bad overall – primarily in the secondary.
The calls (and non-calls) in the secondary are a bit worse (ever heard of OFFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE guys?) and the amount of non-calls on helmet to helmet exchanges are up significantly.
Other than the secondary calls, it has been pretty much the same.
And never respect Pete Carroll.
My Longhorns didn't when he was at USC ðŸ˜‰
The real problem here is that the Refs completely messed up the play procedurally. The head Ref did not even consult either of the refs that made the conflicting call on the play. If he had, which is what he should have done by the rule book, the play very well could have been gotten right. Instead the Packers were robbed of the game.