The Seahawks have been involved in some wild finishes over the years, some fantastic, some absurd, but none as bizarre as the end of their replacement-referee mandated 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers Monday night at CenturyLink Field. Seemingly on the verge of defeat, Russell Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw 50 yards in the air to the left corner of the end zone as the clock expired.
Seahawks receiver Golden Tate blatantly shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way and then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession of Wilson's pass. Although Jennings appeared to have intercepted the ball, the referees on the field ruled that Tate and Jennings had simultaneous possession, which goes to the offensive player, and called it a Seattle touchdown.
After a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott declared, "The ruling on the field stands," giving the Seahawks their second straight victory to the utter delight of the Clink crowd.
"Don't ask me any question about the officials," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. "I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football."
Tate defended the ruling, saying, "We both had possession of it. I don't know the rule, but I guess a tie goes to the receiver."
Asked if he got his hands on the ball first, Tate admitted he wasn't sure. "I think so," he said. "Maybe he did, but I took it from him."
Jennings said that he had the ball pinned to his chest the entire time and that Tate never controlled possession.
"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," Packers' wide receiver Greg Jennings said. "It was clear as day, at least that is what my eyes saw."
Most national media pundits agreed with Jennings that the Packers got hosed on the play, and many NFL players used their Twitter accounts to call a foul on the league.
"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," tweeted Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
"Refs single handedly blew this one . . . " chimed running back Reggie Bush.
"I've been saying give the refs a break but that TD was ridiculous. How do you miss that? Pop Warner refs would have gotten that right," said TE Tony Gonzalez.
Even basketball star LeBron James weighed in, saying on Twitter, "These replacement refs gotta go man!! Packers just got game took from them. I LOVE NFL football too much to see this type of work."
We are going to ask Seahawks fans to scrub off their green and blue face paint for a few minutes and weigh in objectively on the play.