By John Boyle
Still trying to process what happened here. To be honest I and everyone else here will need some more time to digest all of this. But anyway, for better or worse, this Seahawks victory over Green Bay will forever be remembered for a controversial final play, and not for Seattle beating the Packers to improve to 2-1 in what is looking more and more like a promising season for this young team. It’s funny, coming into tonight’s game, I figured that if Seattle could beat Green Bay, a 15-1 team last year, there would be no discounting that victory, like many did after last week’s blowout win over Dallas. Boy was I wrong.
This game could have been remembered for a strong defensive performance, including a first half that yielded eight sacks. It could have been about Seattle’s offense not doing enough to help that defense, or it could have been about a team committing too many penalties—14—to deserve a victory. Instead, all anyone outside of Seattle will ever remember is that the Seahawks won on a final play that had the Packers irate.
In case you somehow haven’t heard already, the Seahawks won on a last-second heave into the end zone that Golden Tate managed to catch (at least if you go with what the officials called) for the winning touchdown. Safety MD Jennings appeared to have a lot more of the ball than did Tate as they went to the ground (we’ll ignore, for a moment, Tate’s two-handed push-off, because that isn’t reviewable, nor is that ever called on an offensive player in these situations).
The play was reviewed, and referee Wayne Elliott said the ruling was upheld because, “The final play was a simultaneous catch. Reviewed by replay. Play stands. Both players (having possession) goes to the offense.”
Asked more about the play, Elliott said, “They both possessed it.”
Packers players skewered the call both in their locker room, and with some more colorful language, on Twitter.
“It was pinned to my chest the whole time,” Jennings told reporters.
Tate’s take was a little different: “Maybe he did (have it), but I took it from him.”
Added Packers receiver Greg Jennings: “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. It was clear as day.”
After seeing a replay of the final play, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said, “It was awful. Just look at the replay and then the fact that it was reviewed. It’s awful. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Even Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, whose team ended up winning on such a questionable final call, has seen enough of the replacement officials.
“It’s time for it to be over,” Carroll said. “It’s time for this to be over. My hat’s off to these officials, they’re doing everything they can to do as well as they can; they’re working their tails off. It demonstrates how difficult it is. It’s a very, very complex process to handle these games and make these decisions… It’s time for it to be over. The league deserves it. Everybody deserves it.”
Said Packers coach Mike McCarthy: “I’ve never seen anything like that in all of my years of football.”
I’m not sure anyone has.