SEAHAWKS-PACKERS: Did The Referees Get It Right?

The nationally televised game came down to the final play of regulation, with Seattle receiver Golden Tate coming down with the ball, or at least the NFL's replacement refs saw it that way. In the end, Seattle won in stunning fashion, 14-12.

QUESTION: Was the call that gave the Seahawks a 14-12 win over Green Bay on Monday the right call?

Was it a touchdown or interception? Was it a Seattle or Green Bay player who came down with the ball?

This is one that everyone - ESPN analysts to coffee shop consumers alike - will be talking about for days, perhaps longer.

It could be the straw that breaks the NFL's bargaining back and forces the league to bring back its regular referees.

Stunning is perhaps the only way to describe the conclusion of the Monday Night Football game between the Seahawks and the Packers, which was broadcast to a nationally televised audience.

The game's final play of regulation came down to a Hail Mary pass from quarterback Russell Wilson, who lofted the ball into the end zone some 30 yards out.

A group of players leaped for the catch. In the end, the ball came down in the arms of two players: Green Bay's M.D. Jennings and Seattle's Golden Tate.

(Click here to watch ESPN's video replay of the catch)

The game's referees - replacements filling in for the NFL's regular refs who are engaged in a labor dispute - called it a touchdown, giving the Seahawks perhaps their most controversial win. Ever.

Video replays showed Jennings, the defender, coming down with the ball tucked in his chest, with Tate's left arm wrapped around the defender and his right arm on the ball.

Even after reviewing the tape, the refs confirmed the play.

Touchdown. Hawks win. Packers jolted.

Even before the play, the referees made a number of questionable calls and penalties against both teams.

Let the brewing controversy over replacement referees explode all over the kitchen.

Afterward, users set the social mediasphere ablaze with criticism. Seattle Coach Pete Carroll said during his press conference that the referees explained that possession went to the offensive player.

The game's television announcers - including former coach and never bashful Jon Gruden - disagreed.

So we want to hear from you, Patch users. What do you think? Was the call right or not? Tell us in the comments below.

Greg Johnston (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Jeff, for me it was distasteful to bring up the deaths of Americans serving their country in reference to a call in a ball game. There are lots of more appropriate places here on Patch for you to comment about that.
Ron Olson September 26, 2012 at 03:46 AM
The boycott plan was started by the striking refs, no doubt. They jump on one bad call and use it to get more money, what a crock. Boycott refs.
Dan September 26, 2012 at 03:54 AM
In the now famous photo of the two referees giving opposite signals, I was thinking that it would be nice to see it from the opposite angle. Then, I noticed in the picture that my favorite TNT photographer, Lui Kit Wong, was there getting the angle I wanted. I went to the tribune site and sure enough, there it was. (go to full screen) http://blog.thenewstribune.com/photo/2012/09/25/seahawks-packers-92412/#id=album-355700&num=content-6753016 Both Jennings and Tate have two hands on the ball, with neither having brought it to their chests for a complete reception. I can honestly say that it was simultaneous reception.
Don September 26, 2012 at 04:29 AM
In conclusion, football and officiating is not a perfect science. Mistakes in calls have happened ever since the game started. It's really irritating that people have made such a big deal on this one mistake after there have been thousands before. We're not the first team to make out after a bad call.
Helen September 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I'm still dreaming of a Super Bowl win against the Steelers. How many rulings were unfair to the Seahawks? I did not hear all this fuss about the bad calls back then? As far as allowing the politicians to enter the fray, let's just say there was not enough mud or muck on the field for them. Next we will hear from the lawyers and then the repro man. Well, as long as the Union busting governor is unhappy. why not? Repeat after me, "Payback!" Stop whining! It's a game.
Keith Best September 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The quality of the NFL refs now in the game are akin to a community organizer overseeing the world's largest economy. NOBAMA2012!
Bob Martinek September 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM
OK, Proxmire, but still from Wisconsin. I am not from Wisconsin, I have lived in the Sammamish Valley for 63 years!
Greg September 26, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Governor Walker did not replace ANY union professionals. You know nothing of what you speak.
Greg September 26, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Keep dreaming about that Seachicken team being in the Super Bowl.
Greg September 26, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Wasn't it Obama that stated "If they bring a knife, we'll bring a gun"?
WIL;LIAM LUDLOW September 26, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Paypack is a bitch. Seahawks know what a bad call is. Remember 2005 super bowl. This win gave them a 22% advantage to reach the super bowl. However if the professional refs. call the game it will go to whoever they play. GO HAWKS!!
WIL;LIAM LUDLOW September 26, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Seahawks have nothing to do with the call. Packers are at fault for playing such a bad game. End of story.
WIL;LIAM LUDLOW September 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Bill Gaw September 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
KCPQ13 has video from a different angle in the end zone. It looks much different and it appears that Tate actually had equal possession of the ball as they are hitting the ground. So THAT call, appears to be correct. The bad call was that there was no penalty for offensive pass interference. And I'd be a little more sympathetic to the Pack if Rodgers hadn't spent so much time on his backside in the first half.
WIL;LIAM LUDLOW September 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Your right. I didn't take long for Obummer and others to view their opinion. GO HAWKS!
WIL;LIAM LUDLOW September 26, 2012 at 06:31 PM
All I have to say is remember the 2005 super bowl. GO HAWKS!!
Mac McKinley September 26, 2012 at 06:42 PM
There were numerous bad calls in that game. Because it's the popular powerhouse Green Bay that ultimately ended up with the loss in this debacle doesn't justify bashing Seattle, Golden Tate, The Seahawks, Pete Carroll or anyone else who played that game. Obviously we've had some terrible calls go against our Seahawks throughout the years, including the Super Bowl and even the Jet's call in the prevous year in which the Vinnie T never quite made it into the end zone. Notice that the National media certainly didn't jump on the Seahawks band wagon for any of those situations. So now we get a win off a bad call, or a collection of them (including Rice being guilty of Offensive Pass Interference, Chancellor being flagged for perfect pass coverage, etc..etc..). The uproar is facinating to watch and I'm somewhat saddened by the slamming of our region and the people who were involved. Pete Carroll and our Seahawks do NOT have to admit their guilt to this outcome. No one ever does when the get the "call" which goes to their favor. If it makes all those Green Bay people happy, "I'LL admit to it!". I'm a lifetime Seahawks fan and I admit they got it wrong. So what? In Seattle, we've learned to move on. I guess it's time for others to learn that lesson. The Seahawks played a remarkable game and it's sad they don't get credit. If you didn't like their celebration of the win, then do NOT put your team in a position to have that "human" element decide your collective fate.
Tu-Ha Nguyen September 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM
There are people starving all over the world. Incredible injustices like oppression of women, children and the poor. Millions wake up daily without clean water BUT yeah, let's keep on with the debate about The Seahawks vs. Packers game!! Way to keep our priorities straight!!
Don September 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Cats and dogs living together!! Oh the humanity!!
Robert Martin September 26, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Why not just knock ball down or out of bounds? It was 4th down and no time on the clock? What good was an interception other than stats. Duel interception as tie goes to offense. Work within the rules and don't fault the ref's.
Brent Champaco September 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Exactly, Robert. As for the pass interference, Golden Tate didn't shove the entire Green Bay secondary out of the way. One of the other five or so guys should have knocked it down.
Steve bod September 27, 2012 at 12:11 AM
The refs without a Doubt made the Correct Call Although the Packer defender and Seahawk Reciever both went up to catch the ball The Seahawk reciever Had Both Feet on the Ground with Both hands on the Ball. The packer Defend had both hands on the Ball and Both Feet in the Air. Until Such time as both his feet are on the Ground a Catch is not complete. it is Not until Golden Tate is already on the Ground And the Defender comeing down on Top of Tate (CHEST TO CHEST) do the Defenders feet touch the Ground .. The play is then Over its a simultaneous Catch. And by rule it goes to the offensive team........... The Video confirms it..
James Bielaga September 27, 2012 at 05:29 AM
The bad call was the offensive pass interference on Tate's push...but they didn't call it so it's not reviewable. The catch is fine this is the NFL you need two feet inbounds and control of the ball to make it a legal catch. So when they come down to the ground inbounds in the end zone who has the ball? They both do Tate never was not touching the ball. He had his left hand in there. Even ESPN says he had a hand in ther they just keep forgetting that a catch isn't a catch until you come down with it. Yes, the Packers got screwed but by the non penalty not the catch. If you read the NFL ruling that is what they said. Tie catch goes to the offensive player. An interception is called a take away or turn over...Jennings never had the ball all by himself while he was on the ground with two feet inbounds. So it can't be an interception by rule. It's pretty simple call. Seen it quite a bit over the years watching NFL games since 1970 if two players go up and both come down with the ball it goes to the passing team.
James Bielaga September 27, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I like Pete Carroll's statement today about simultaneous catch and that is what I saw initially while watching the game. And even posted it to my friends on FB and they are like I don't think so...but that has been the rule I have seen it a half a dozen times since 1970 so didn't surprise me. Yes, Tate did push off and got away with one. But maybe they thought it was playoff hockey no blood no whistle. Just glad it wasn't a playoff game.
Margaret Wiggins September 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Mission accomplished, the strike is over and the regular refs are back on the job. The last thing the owners want is for the fans to think the games are rigged by bad reffing. NBA is a case in point, only the name brand players were awarded fouls for "flopping" and flagrant fouls on lesser players were ignored. They lost my attention when the refs made it perfectly clear "they controlled the outcome of the game." Will this one game, win or lose, change the standings at the end of the season? Uh.... no. No one game decides a season, there are 16 regular season games and they all count the same. But the foul by Tate before the "reception" where the defender in front of him got a harsh push off in the back, that doesn't get mentioned much. The great pass into a crowd by a rookie QB on the 4th down in the last seconds of a game... wow ... lots of poise there to even get it into the receiver's hands.
Margaret Wiggins September 27, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Really Brent? ... if there are several defenders clustered around the receiver and he only pushes one down... then it isn't a foul? And if they do not do "the smart thing" and knock the ball out of play, then they deserve to lose with a tie ball call? Sorry, just not reading the sarcasm if that is what you were meaning.
James Bielaga September 27, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Margaret, Yeah you got that right the push off by Tate non call was the bad call. The catch by rule was good as you don't get credit for catching the ball in the air...you get the start of a catch but you have to control the ball to the ground and get both feet inbounds to be a legal catch. Somehow ESPN with all their ex NFL players on staff including wide receives and Defense backs can't seem to figure that out. They keep talking about the initial touch of the ball...that doesn't make a reception as the ball can get knocked out, slip out of one's hands, or get taken away by another player before the play is completed. They are more vocal and have the media to express their opinion but still have yet to see one guy talk about when their feet hit the ground and who had the ball? Just amazing John Madden with his Telestrator in the play by play booth could of resolved the whole thing in less then 2 minutes...
Bob Martinek September 28, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Margaret and James, you have both nailed it. I get so frustrated with the sports world myopic view with regard to their sports icons. Seattle has as much right to a good team as New York, Green Bay, Dallas and New Orleans. But, now we have to prove it and move on to an exciting football season, welcome back to qualified refs, can't wait to see their screw ups.
Dan September 28, 2012 at 06:47 PM
James, The reason that they spent so much time discussing the initial touching of the ball is because that is when simultaneous reception is determined; not when they hit the ground. Thankfully, this discussion is almost over because not only did Russell Wilson get us a win, he also ended the lock-out!
Joshua Fye September 30, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Listen guys, I am a Green Bay fan and I was just as enraged as everyone else about the loss. But after I saw the play broken down the truth is that Tate had both feet on the ground and partial possession long before MD Jennings had both feet down. I saw a still frame that showed this without a doubt. The PI not getting called is frustrating also but I saw some clips of other games where people won on Hail Marys where there was PI on both sides and the refs did not call it. We just have forget about it and move on to the Saints.


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