Packers vs Seahawks - Replacement Refs Blew It with Simultaneous Catch Ruling

Let’s preface this quick post following the Monday Night Football “game” between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks by saying this is coming from a Chicago Bears fan with everything to gain by a Packers loss.  The Packers got completely screwed.  You may never see me write that again but this may have been the worst call I’ve ever seen.

On the final play of the game, Russel Wilson heaved up a prayer that was seemingly intercepted by Green Bay Packer defender M.D. Jennings.  Seahawks receiver Golden Tate appeared to get an arm on the ball and wrestle it from Jennings after the interception and a touchdown was ruled.  Check out the game highlights, including the controversial last play here.

In case the replacement refs want to call this a simultaneous catch, here’s the rule right from the NFL Rule Book, Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5:

There was clearly confusion on the part of the refs, as evidenced by this snapshot, where one ref is waving his arms signaling dead ball and another signaling touchdown.

Even after the call of the field was blown, they got a chance to redeem themselves and review the scoring play and the ruling was upheld.  The stadium erupted, Pete Carroll fist pumped and the teams left the field.  Uh, the refs forgot that by rule, an extra point must be attempted.  Teams had to be pulled back onto the field for the try.  All that was missing was the Stanford band on the field.  Mass chaos, confusion.

Again, let me say that the Packers lost and that makes this Bears fan happy.  But at the expense of the integrity of the game?  That’s a tough one to swallow.  If this doesn’t get the NFL back to the negotiating table, nothing will.

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Tags: Green Bay Packers Monday Night Football Replacement Refs Seattle Seahawks Simultaneous Catch

  • EC Pack Fan

    Case closed, when the Bears’ blog backs the Packers in this debacle. Thanks for shooting straight!

  • lindemrm

    Totally Disagree- It’s like back when Tillman stole the ball from Moss in the air for an interception; it doesn’t matter what happens while in the air, once they hit the ground, it was joint possession, which goes to the receiver.

    • Random Person


  • Fact Checker

    Two corrections. First, it is not an interception simply because the ball was touched a player’s hands while they were in the air; it would only be an interception if he subsequently came down to the ground in sole possession (by rule) of the ball which he did not. He got hands on it first, yes, but at the time they hit the ground both players had possession (go back to about 1 second before that picture and you’ll see Tate on his back with at least partial possession) meaning by the rule you posted that he gets the ball and the TD.

    Second, you’re incorrect about the two refs. One is signalling touchdown however the other motioned over his head not in front of his body meaning he was NOT signaling “no good” but instead of signalling stop the clock like they typically do since he was likely unaware that time had expired.

    The scabs do absolutely suck, no doubt, but based on the facts that actually matter in this play the call was right in the end.

    • Mr.Pants

      I agree 100%. The relevant issue is control. I skimmed the rules but could not find a solid definition of control. I don’t think that the split second where Jennings was touching the ball with two hands while Tate was touching it with one hand before Tate got his second hand there was enough to indicate control.

    • BearGogglesOn

      From my point of view, Jennings had control of the ball taking it to the ground and Tate took it away while on the ground. Packers ball.

      Why would the ref be signaling “stop the clock?” It was the last play of the game; no time left on the clock and he should know that.

  • phil_x

    The important thing about last night’s game (sorry)…is after an 8 sack 1st half; the Packers made adjustments and went to the run game, 1-step drops, screens, and QB rollouts. The sacks stopped and they moved the ball. This is exactly what the Bears DID NOT DO against the packers or anyone else for that matter. Infuriates me to no end! Thanks for listening, and I’ll take a Packer loss even if it is bogus.

    • John Mack

      +1 on the adjustment PHIL, +1!!!!

  • Tim

    To all you bear’s fans that say “Oh, it doesn’t matter what happens in the air”, YES IT DOES. Jennings had the ball in the air, and on the ground, only after Jennings was DOWN with POSSESSION did Tate wrestle it away. Get your head out of your butt and admit that a terrible call was made. The rest of the country sees it!

    • phil_x

      Tim…1000% correct. Go back to the Calvin Johnson call last year. To be a TD you muct maintain possesion all the way through to the ground.

  • Random Person

    From the way I read the rules it was the right call. Embarrassingly handled by the refs but it was the right call. Simultaneous catch goes to the offense. Not only that but Tate’s feet were on the ground.



  • Dbl J

    The rule is pretty clear. From my perspective, possession was simultaneously established by both players. The officials were right there to make the call.
    This is a unique and interesting situation on many levels. Unfortunately for people who saw it the way I did, our opinion gets shut down mainly because the call was made by a replacement official. So now, after a weekend of poor officiating, everyone and their sister wants to jump on the incompetent officials wagon.
    I wonder if the same call was made the vast majority of thinkers around the league would still have the same opinion? I wonder how many of them (instead of blaming the official) would blame Jennings for not just batting the ball down like he is supposed to? Maybe they’d say the officials on a close play like that are not going to reward a stupid play by the defender. I could be wrong, but I think the piling on is far too easy with replacement officials out there. Its unfair to say GB got screwed because you can’t boil the game down to that one play, How many holds did the Packers get away with in the first half?
    The officials called it as they saw it, and the NFL upheld it. That is as much part of the game as blocking and passing.
    If so many players and commentators want the Regular officials back so badly, why don’t they just go ahead and join them on the picket line?
    You think JD Lang and Troy Aikman and Drew Breese and countless others are willing to do that? (Well, Drew Breese might welcome the break)

  • Alejandro

    I live in Seattle… I am not cheering for this. Soooo not professional’ Nobody should call this a win. and so messed up. And clearly Packers ball

  • Adam Lewis

    So what happened to the post about Rodgers shoving a cameraman? NFL make FanSided pull it? Funny how its OK for media to pile on Cutler for shoving JWebb when he’s getting killed but you have goldenboy shoving a civilian who’s just doing his job and it’s a non-issue. He’ll, you have to dig hard and deep to even find mention of it anywhere.

    • Club Life

      Good point – look at the lions v eagles game – a lions player was hit infront of the ref in the face by an eagle the lion didnt do anything back just asked the ref for the flag which was no where to be found, suh stomps out a gb packer all over the news to this day – Cox an eagles player starts punching a guy who is on the ground – he gets ejected out of one game and no mention of it any where. – P.Manning, T.Brady, A. Rodgers – no matter what they do will get preferential treatment – and so will their teams – that’s why i was personally happy when replacement refs were out there it actually made things more fair – believe it or not.

  • Club Life

    The regular refs do it to CJ was obviously a completed catch – but because the ref’s love the lions so much – the bears got the win.

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