By Tim Booth Associated Press
SEATTLE — Pete Carroll said he doesn’t care about sentiments that the Seattle Seahawks’ win over the Green Bay Packers is a tainted victory because of a disputed call on the final play of the game.
During his weekly radio appearance Tuesday morning on 710 KIRO-AM in Seattle, Seahawks head coach said he understands why there is so much outrage about the call that awarded Golden Tate a 24-yard touchdown reception and gave the Seahawks a 14-12 win but he said it was right.
“They called it and the league backed it up and game over, we win,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks were off on Tuesday, their lone day off this week, and were set to resume practice Wednesday in preparation for a road game at St. Louis.
The decision to award Seattle a touchdown on the final play capped a weekend of building frustration toward replacement officials. The confusion on the field didn’t help the situation. One official standing over the pile in the end zone signaled touchdown while another next to him did not signal a score. The video review was lengthy and the conclusion of the game was delayed nearly 10 minutes after the teams went to the locker room, then had to be retrieved for the extra point.
Carroll said the call ruling it a simultaneous catch, which awards the reception to the offense, was correct, although it was unclear if Tate ever had as much possession of the ball as it appeared Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings did.
The NFL said in a statement Tuesday that the touchdown pass should not have been overturned — but acknowledged Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch. The league also said there was no indisputable evidence to reverse the call made on the field.
“Golden makes an extraordinary effort. It’s a great protection; it’s a great throw. It’s a great attempt at the ball and he wins the battle,” Carroll said. “They were right on the point looking right at it, standing right over the thing and they reviewed it. Whether they missed the push or not — obviously they missed the push in the battle for the ball — but that stuff goes on all the time.”
The final play began at the Green Bay 24, but quarterback Russell Wilson made the throw from the 39 after scrambling out of the pocket. The play was designed to go toward Sidney Rice on the right side of the formation, but Wilson came back to the left and let fly with the pass just before getting hit by Green Bay’s Clay Matthews.
Carroll said as he viewed the play, Jennings had the advantage in the air, but “when we finished the catch we had the ball and they had the ball too, so it’s simultaneous.”
“People don’t want to hear that, but that’s what happened. The guy had the best shot at it up in the air but they’ve got to finish it off,” Carroll said. “They hit ground, the ball gets on the ground it’s an incomplete pass. It’s not completed until they secure it on the ground and we were in great shape for it. I don’t care if they don’t like it.”
The furor over the disputed call left Seattle in the awkward position of trying to defend a decision that was out of its hands, but could have long-lasting ramifications as the season progresses. Seattle won its second straight and remained near the top of a suddenly competitive NFC West where Arizona remains one of only three undefeated teams at 3-0 and San Francisco (2-1) was considered a Super Bowl contender before the season began.
Some players took to social media to express their feelings. Cornerback Richard Sherman responded to a tweet from Green Bay offensive lineman T.J. Lang by writing, “hey maybe u should worry about how to keep your qb from getting sacked 8 times in a half instead of worrying about the refs!”
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half by Seattle.
Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor also expressed some of his feelings about the debate: “I wanna say so much right now but it doesnt matter We go that WIN!!! on to the next!!”