The NFL has been using replacement referees through the first three weeks of the season because the usual refs are locked out due to disputes over a new collective bargaining agreement. There have been a truckload of problems with the replacements refs so far and that came to a climax on Monday Night Football. The Seattle Seahawks hosted the Green Bay Packers in a game that ended in a blown call by the referees in the Seahawks’ favor…big time!
The game did not go as expected. The Packers went ahead 12-7 with about eight minutes left in the game. The Seahawks drove the ball but fell short on a fourth-and-three try from about the 10-yard line. The Seahawks stuffed the Packers and forced a punt from the Packers’ endzone with around 1:30 left.
Then after a few plays the Seahawks had one try left from around the 20-yard line. QB Russell Wilson scrambled around for a while and then heaved a prayer up in WR Golden Tate‘s direction, who was waiting in the endzone with several Packers. The ball looked to be intercepted by Packers DB M.D. Jennings but Tate also had a hand on it as they landed to the ground and time expired.
Two replacement referees ran over to the spot, one signaling an interception and a touchback while the other signaled a touchdown. They reviewed the play and decide that Tate and Jennings both controlled the ball the whole time in which case, by rule, the ball goes to the offensive player.
It is very clear that Jennings controlled the ball securely with two arms as Tate just had one hand on it. This play was not a situation in which both guys controlled the ball the entire time. Tate never controlled the ball until they hit the ground and he fought for it. It is just sad that a game ended this way even after it was reviewed in the replay booth.
On top of all this, Tate clearly shoved a defensive player in the back, but wasn’t called for the interference.
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy spoke after the game and was clearly frustrated, but tried to make it clear that the Packers didn’t play well either.
“Don’t ask me questions about the officials,” McCarthy said.” All right? So we’ll just cut to the chase right there. “The offense didn’t do our part in the first half. I’ll take responsibility for that.”
During the whole play my mind never thought that it could actually be ruled a catch.
The trip back to Green Bay was much longer than expected.
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