What a Monday night. What a controversial ending.
On the final play of a back-and-forth Monday Night Football game, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson chucked a Hail Mary into the end zone, where Seahawks receiver Golden Tate and Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings both leapt into the air and grabbed for it, then tumbled on the ground together, both with their hands on the ball. The officials ruled that it was simultaneous possession, which goes to the offense. Therefore, according to the officials, it was a Seahawks game-winning touchdown with no time left.
But should it have been a touchdown? Or should it have been an interception? Jennings appeared to have a firm grasp on the ball, while Tate just had an arm on the ball — which would make it a Packers interception, and a Packers win. But the officials standing in the end zone said Tate had the ball, too, and the referee confirmed that call after a replay review. Touchdown, Seattle, on the final play of the game.
But was it the final play of the game? Or would the Seahawks have to try an extra point after that touchdown? Both teams and the officials left the field after the touchdown, and it appeared that the final score would be Seahawks 13, Packers 12. But after a long delay the officials finally told both teams that they had to come back on the field for the Seahawks to attempt an extra point. Seattle made it, and the final was 14-12.
Under the crazy circumstances of the final play it seemed like a lucky win for the Seahawks, but Wilson said after the game that there was nothing lucky about Tate’s catch.
“We practice that all the time and Golden Tate made a play,” Wilson said after the game.
The Seahawks had controlled the first half, sacking Aaron Rodgers eight times and forcing the Packers to punt on all five of their first-half possessions, but Green Bay took control in the second half. The Packers started the second half with a 13-play, 70-yard drive that resulted in a field goal, then had an 11-play, 66-yard drive that resulted in another field goal, then had a 16-play, 81-yard drive that resulted in the go-ahead touchdown. Rodgers was in complete control, and the offensive line was keeping him upright and opening holes for Cedric Benson.
But the Seahawks got the ball with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, trailing 12-7, and they still had a prayer. That’s all they needed. Wilson got Seattle close enough for that one final play, and he made the throw Seattle needed him to make on that one final play.
Even if you think the officials got the final play right (and Packers fans will insist that they didn’t, and Jennings intercepted the pass, not to mention the fact that Tate appeared to push off before jumping up for the ball), the replacement officials were every bit as bad as we’ve all come to expect. An absolutely horrible pass interference call on Packers cornerback Sam Shields late in the fourth quarter sticks out as the worst mistake in a game full of them. This was a crazy game — a crazy amount of pressure on Rodgers in the first half, a crazy Green Bay comeback in the second half, a crazy Hail Mary on the last play, and crazy officiating. Let’s all go to bed and talk more about this one in the morning.