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Monday night’s showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers was a defensive gridlock, but the final score was dictated by the officials’ divisive decision to grant the Seahawks the 14-12 victory at CentruyLink Field.
Green Bay was able to drive down the field in the 4th quarter starting at their own 19, and Cedric Benson punched in a score from the one yard line to go up 12-7. They did not convert the two point conversion. On that drive, on 3rd and 2 from Seattle’s 47 yard line the officials called a pass interference on Kam Chancellor against Jermichael Finely, which extended the Packers drive, and did not seem to be a penalty.
The Packers were able to maintain the Seahawks on the ensuing drive. Green Bay regained possession after a failed 4th and 3rd conversion on Green Bay’s seven yard line. On the first play, Cedric Benson was pushed backwards, and fumbled the ball. Packers center Jeff Saturday recovered the ball. Green Bay was only able to kill 57 seconds and punted the ball back to Seattle around midfield.
Russell Wilson drove the Seahawks to Green Bay’s 24 yard line. On 4th and 10, Wilson chucked the ball in the end-zone to Golden Tate, but cornerback M.D Jennings seemed to have intercepted the ball and had possession. However, the official ran over and called it a touchdown. The play was reviewed and stood, granting the Seahawks the victory. Beyond frustrated, the Packers left the field. However, 11 players needed to come back on the field to line up for the extra point conversion.
This catch has spurred a vast amount of controversy, especially because it was the obvious wrong call and the replacement officials are dictating the results of key games. According to the NFL rule book, Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5: Simultaneous Catch states:
“ 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.”
While looking at the review, its is clear that Jennings had possession of the ball and brought the ball to his chest, while Tate only had one hand on it. Furthermore before Tate made a play on the ball he blatantly pushed Sam Shields down to the ground, another missed call.
Several NFL, and sports analysts tweeted there reactions regarding the call. Steven A. Smith tweeted, “If the NFL wants to maintain any credibility whatsoever, it should OVERTURN this decision IMMEDIATELY. This game should be awarded to GB.” Prior to that Smith tweeted on the officiating saying, “That’s it! I’m done. CLEARLY AN INTERCEPTION. The NFL should be ashamed of itself for allowing this officiating to regress to this point.”
This has been the most controversial call of the season, and brings up the question, when will the NFL reach into their pockets and bring back the real officials?
Image Courtesy of Seattle Seahawks