The NFL has confirmed that it plans to issue a formal statement today on the Seahawks’ game-winning touchdown pass on Monday night, which the replacement officials on the field ruled to be simultaneously possessed by both Seattle receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings, but virtually everyone else agrees was intercepted by Jennings before Tate put his hand on the ball.
We don’t know what the NFL will say. It’s possible that the league could actually claim that the officials on the field got the call right, but that seems extraordinarily unlikely. The NFL can spin with the best of them, but the paying customers aren’t in any mood to accept any claim that the call was correct.
More likely, the league will issue an explanation of the simultaneous possession rule, followed by an acknowledgement that the officiating isn’t perfect but a defense of the overall quality of the replacement officials as generally adequate.
The statement the fans, the coaches and the players want is a statement that the NFL’s lockout of the regular officials has come to an end. No one expects that statement to come today.