The ruling on the field will stand. The NFL has spoken after the disputed call that gave the Seattle Seahawks a 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.
Replays indicated that Packers cornerback M.D. Jennings had possession of the pass in the end zone, but referees awarded the catch to Seattle's Golden Tate after the two wrestled for the ball on the turf. One official signaled touchdown and the other indicated an interception.
It's worth mentioning that while the replacement referees are being blamed for the gaffe on the field, the replay officials who reviewed the play were not replacements but rather full-time league employees.
In any case, the NFL issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“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.”
Sam Shields got the worst of that play!!!— Tim Jennings (@HennOrJenn26) September 25, 2012
Ok..what a finish...am I the only one laughing at shields getting pushed as he is about to jump. Slow mo is so funny to me.— lance briggs (@55Berger) September 25, 2012
U literally couldn't script this.Refs will be back next week.— Hunter Hillenmeyer (@hthill) September 25, 2012
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