Controversial Touchdown Call: NFL Upholds Seahawks' Disputed Win Over Packers

UPDATED Tuesday, September 25, 2012 --- 11:54 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL has upheld the Seahawks' 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle's last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.

The NFL says Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have clinched a Packers victory, but that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.

The replacement officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL says that once that happened, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.

On the final play, Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone. Tate and Jennings both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 25, 2012 --- 11:36 a.m.

From nfl.com

The following is a statement issued by the NFL regarding Golden Tate's game-winning touchdown catch at the conclusion of Monday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks:

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.

Applicable rules to the play are as follows:

A player (or players) jumping in the air has not legally gained possession of the ball until he satisfies the elements of a catch listed here.

Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 of the NFL Rule Book defines a catch:

A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:

(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and

(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and

(c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).

When a player (or players) is going to the ground in the attempt to catch a pass, Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 states:

Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5 states:

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.

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UPDATED Tuesday, September 25, 2012 --- 5:50 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) -- One politician let his feelings be known after the wild ending of the Seattle Seahawks' 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach tweeted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's office phone number after the replacement officials mishandled the final play of the game. Seattle's Golden Tate pushed one Green Bay defender out of the way then wrestled another for the ball and was awarded a disputed touchdown on the final play.

Erpenbach said in a separate tweet that if Monday night's ending did not spark an end to the lockout of the regular officials "this season will be a joke."

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Posted-September 25th, 2012 12:50 am

SEATTLE (AP) -- Russell Wilson threw a disputed 24-yard touchdown to Golden Tate on the final play of the game, and the Seattle Seahawks rallied to beat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday night in a controversial ending.

Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced "the ruling on the field stands" and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.

Both teams left the field before being brought back out to attempt the point after touchdown. The delay was nearly 10 minutes.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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