The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday after referees ruled a Seattle receiver caught the ball amid a pile of bodies in the end zone on the games last play. The NFL concluded Tuesday that referees should have called pass interference against Seattle, but still upheld the catch and Seattle victory.
A look at the situation:
What the NFL's statement says
In Monday's game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, Seattle faced a 4th-and-10 from the Green Bay 24 with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass into the end zone. Several players, including Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, jumped into the air in an attempt to catch the ball.
While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.
When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
Referee Wayne Elliott 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 result of the game is final.
What the rulebook says
Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5: Simultaneous Catch. 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. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.
What the Packers say
• "It was pinned to my chest the whole time." - Safety M.D. Jennings
• "Don't ask me a question about the officials. I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football." - Coach Mike McCarthy
• "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. It was clear as day ... at least that is what my eyes saw." - Wide receiver Greg Jennings
• "It was awful. Just look at the replay. And then the fact that it was reviewed, it was awful. That's all I'm going to say about it." - Quarterback Aaron Rodgers
What the Seahawks say
• We both had possession of it. I dont even know the rule but I guess the tie goes to the receiver. Wide receiver Golden Tate
• I dont know what youre talking about. Tate, in postgame interview with ESPNs Lisa Salters, on whether he pushed off on the Packers Sam Shields.
• The league backed it up and game over, we win. Coach Pete Carroll
By the numbers
• $300 million - The amount of money Las Vegas oddsmakers said changed hands worldwide on the call. The Glantz-Culver line for the game opened favoring the Packers by 4 1/2 . Had the play been ruled an interception, Green Bay would have won by 5. Gambling expert RJ Bell of Las Vegas-based Pregame.com says he thinks two-thirds of bets worldwide were on the Packers, and that sports books took in at least $150 million because of the call.
• $38,500 - The annual pension contribution NFL referees have asked for from the league, a request that is at the heart of the impasse. The league considers the number too generous.
• 40,000 - Retweets of a profane Twitter entry by Packers offensive tackle T.J. Lang
• 70,000 - Voicemails received by the NFL overnight, according to ESPN.
What President Obama says
President Barack Obama, a diehard Chicago Bears fan and not one to wish the rival Packers well, deemed it "terrible" and said it was time to get back to the regular referees. In a tweet that went out on his verified account and over his initials, Obama said: "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon."
What the official says
"They both possessed it." - Referee Wayne Elliott
What others say
• "That crew, and former NFL official and current replay official Howard Slavin, should never work another game!" - Rich Gannon, CBS Sports
• "You don't often see a case of brazen grand theft in prime time." - Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune
• "Let's call it what it is. They got jobbed by the incompetence of the replacement refs. Not their fault but the fault of the NFL. Absolutely ridiculous! Shame on the NFL for allowing it! - John Lynch, Fox Sports
• "A miracle finish - with a big assist from the officials - for Russell Wilson. Have a feeling Packers' fans aren't using the word "miracle" for the ending, though." - Bob Glauber, Newsday
What athletes on Twitter say
• "These games are a joke." - Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman
• "I simply just LOVE the NFL to much to see these mistakes. I'm sick like I just played for the Packers." - NBA MVP LeBron James
• "I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight's debacle hurts me greatly. This is NOT the league we're supposed to represent." - Saints quarterback Drew Brees
• "Anyone get the feeling Twitter was created for nights like tonight?" - Panthers deep snapper J.J. Jansen
• "Drama. Great for business. Godspeed, Ed Hochuli." - Texans running back Arian Foster