NFL Admits Mistake, Upholds Controversial Ruling In Packers-Seahawks Game

The Green Bay Packers should have won last night against the Seattle Seahawks. But they didn’t. A botched call by the NFL replacement refs gave the Seahawks a touchdown at the end of the game and the Packers lost 14-12.

The ruling caused an uproar on the sidelines, in the stands, and on the internet.

The NFL released a statement today upholding the ruling and explaining what happened on Monday Night Football.

According to the statement, the entire controversy would have been avoided if the refs would have correctly called a pass interference on wide receiver Golden Tate. If a flag was thrown, and it should have been, the game would have ended and the Packers would have won.

The NFL writes:

“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.”

But since there was no flag the refs had to decided if Tate or M.D. Jennings caught the ball in the endzone. During the play, one ref called a touchdown and the other called an interception. The play was put under review and the refs eventually decided that Jennings and Tate both had possession. The rules for a simultaneous catch give possession to the offensive player and the play was ruled a touchdown.

The NFL writes:

“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.”

The problem that most people seem to have with the ruling, besides it being incorrect, is that it was unclear what the refs actually called on the field. Two refs run up to the play and both give different signals.

nfl replacement refs

What do you think about the NFL’s explanation?