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NFL’s rulebook, casebook confirm call was incorrect

Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, Charly Martin, M.D. Jennings, Golden Tate AP

The NFL’s adroitly-drafted statement regarding the Monday night debacle in Seattle glosses over the most important question presented by the play.

What if Packers safety M.D. Jenning gained control of the ball before Golden Tate?  As we address that question, keep in mind the difference between “control” and “possession.”

“When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both [Seahawks receiver Golden] Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball,” the league’s statement explains.  “Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player.  The result of the play was a touchdown.”

In reality, the outcome was determined before the players hit the ground.  That’s when Jennings first gained “control” of the ball, regardless of whether Tate eventually secured simultaneous “possession” of it.

The relevant portion of the official 2012 rules comes from Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5:  “It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.”  (Emphasis added.)  Thus, it doesn’t matter whether the officials determined that Tate and Jennings jointly had “possession” when they landed; the question is whether Jennings “gained control” first.

The NFL’s statement likely omitted that fact because the video shows Jennings “gained control” first.  This video shows the best angle; Jennings caught the ball with both hands while Tate had only one hand (his left) on the ball.  Tate eventually got his right hand on the ball, but after Jennings “gained control” of it.

The league’s most recent casebook, which is posted at NFL.com, specifically addresses this situation at A.R. 8.29, under the all-caps title NOT A SIMULTANEOUS CATCH:  “First-and-10 on A20. B3 controls a pass in the air at the A40 before A2, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, A2 and B3 fall down to the ground.  Ruling: B’s ball, first-and-10 on A40. Not a simultaneous catch as B3 gains control first and retains control.”  (Emphasis added.)

Some Seahawks fans defend the indefensible claim that the catch isn’t complete until the players land on the ground, citing the ever-confusing “Calvin Johnson rule,” which makes a catch not a catch until the player maintains possession through the act of going to the ground.  They cling to that principle for a very good reason; the league’s statement specifically quotes the rule, blurring the line between “control” and “possession.”

Consider the plain language of the rule regarding a completed pass:  “A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds: (a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and (b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and (c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).”

This isn’t about maintaining control through the act of going to the ground; it’s about who first secured control, whether the players were in the air or on the ground.  Jennings first secured control, while he and Tate were in the air.

Here’s A.R. 8.29, with the names of the player’s included:  “Jennings controls a pass in the air before Tate, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, Tate and Jennings fall down to the ground.  Ruling:  Green Bay’s ball.  Not a simultaneous catch as Jennings gains control first and retains control.”

Though it gets complicated, it’s actually pretty simple.  Jennings gained control first.  Tate, at best, secured joint control later.  That’s not a simultaneous catch.

Then there’s the faction of Seahawks fans who believe that there was insufficient visual evidence to overturn the ruling on the field, regardless of whether the ruling was touchdown or interception.  But that’s where the league’s statement also is wrong.  It’s indisputable that Jennings gained control first, as evidenced by Jennings having two arms at the ball when Tate has only one.

As a result, we reject the league’s statement as the predictable sort of wagon-circling in which the league has been engaged ever since it put third-rate-at-best officials into the costume and pawned them off as sufficiently competent to rise to the challenge of officiating an NFL game.  The very complexity of this rule proves that these officials lack the ability to remember, interpret, and apply these principles in real time.

Of course, the non-replacement replay official and the non-replacement league supervisor screwed this one up, too.  Which perhaps highlights the importance of having non-replacement officials who know these rules and can apply these rules on the field at all times.

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155 Responses to “NFL’s rulebook, casebook confirm call was incorrect”
  1. virger says: Sep 26, 2012 8:35 PM

    we all get it. bogus call. let’s plod on.

  2. farty5 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:39 PM

    Anyone with a brain knows they screwed up the call

  3. yankeemofo says: Sep 26, 2012 8:39 PM

    I’ve been saying this and citing that particular rule and item since 12:02am Tuesday morning.

  4. skoobyfl says: Sep 26, 2012 8:39 PM

    My eyes told us all so as well.

  5. tballs44 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:40 PM

    Here’s A.R. 8.29, with the names of the player’s included: “Jennings controls a pass in the air before Tate, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, Tate and Jennings fall down to the ground. Ruling: Seattle’s ball. Not a simultaneous catch as Jennings gains control first and retains control.”

    Do you mean “Ruling: GREEN BAY’S BALL.” ????

  6. drew05 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:40 PM

    Did the league look into the pass interference call that continued a Packers scoring drive earlier in the game?

    —————————-

    “As a result, we reject the league’s statement as the predictable sort of wagon-circling in which the league has been engaged ever since it put third-rate-at-best officials into the costume and pawned them off as sufficiently competent to rise to the challenge of officiating an NFL game.”

    Wow…reject it all you like…let me know how that works out.

  7. brvincent says: Sep 26, 2012 8:41 PM

    As a Packer fan, I’m over it.

    On to New Orleans.

  8. pdb24 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:41 PM

    “Here’s A.R. 8.29, with the names of the player’s included: … Ruling: Seattle’s ball.”

    Wait, what?

  9. chrisk61 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    who cares mike ? you are killin us. let this die. it is ancient history.

  10. jonevans83 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    Just shut up already.

  11. gbpshareholder says: Sep 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    Goodell obviously believes he and the other league officials have the only opinion that matters… I hope the NFL’s sponsors take note and help make the league abide by it’s own rules…

  12. 808raiderinparadise says: Sep 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    ENOUGH ALREADY !!!!! Big f-ing deal. Its week 4 !!!!!!!!

  13. lionshawk says: Sep 26, 2012 8:42 PM

    The problem in all of this is possession is constituted by Jennings being down. He can hover in the air all day long with control but if he doesn’t have it when his feet are down he is not in possession. if he landed on the bodies beneath him and lost control he would not have a catch. Tate gains control before Jennings is “down” so the catch is ruled simultaneous.

  14. sicarii87 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:43 PM

    Here’s A.R. 8.29, with the names of the player’s included: “Jennings controls a pass in the air before Tate, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, Tate and Jennings fall down to the ground. Ruling: Seattle’s ball. Not a simultaneous catch as Jennings gains control first and retains control.”

    You wrote that wrong…. should say Packers’ ball.

    confusing to everyone it seems

  15. tuongotsriracha says: Sep 26, 2012 8:44 PM

    “Jennings controls a pass in the air before Tate, who then also controls the ball before they land. As they land, Tate and Jennings fall down to the ground. Ruling: Seattle’s ball. Not a simultaneous catch as Jennings gains control first and retains control.”

    Think you mean Green Bay’s ball.

  16. kimtrouard says: Sep 26, 2012 8:45 PM

    The league has sadly, simply turned into the National SPIN League. Goodell and the other jokers at the NFL office think they can piss on your leg and tell you it’s raining, and that we are too stupid or football hungry to question them. Might as well watch WWE.

  17. madpunter88 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:45 PM

    It is telling that it took two days to decipher this and sort out the exact wording of the ruling. The referees, for all their faults in this game, had to make split second decisions and then had to review the play within minutes without being able to research the rule book and case book.

    Should they know all the rules absolutely and without hesitation? Of course. But even the regular referees would have most certainly had trouble with this one.

    It was the wrong call. But it is easy to see why there was confusion on the field and the referees believed they made the right call.

  18. drew05 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:45 PM

    “Of course, the non-replacement replay official and the non-replacement league supervisor screwed this one up, too. Which perhaps highlights the importance of having non-replacement officials who know these rules and can apply these rules on the field at all times.”

    In my world, the only people striving to get the proper people “on the field at all times” is the NFL.

    The NFL knows (so does the NFLRA, it seems)that a large percentage of the “non-replacement” officials do not “know these rules” or “apply these rules” correctly.

    I really want the best out there too…but if the “regulars” are allowed to return to duty w/o the all-important proper “accountability”…then it’s all for naught.

  19. cometkazie says: Sep 26, 2012 8:46 PM

    Water under the bridge . . .

  20. sageyoung says: Sep 26, 2012 8:46 PM

    I was with you until you added the players names, leading to SEATTLE having the ball. Didn’t you mean it would be Jennings team’s ball (the Packers)?

  21. evilbilly3 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:47 PM

    Funny, you would think that the league were pretty credible about their statements. Kinda make you wonder just how guilty the Saints really are?

  22. frenchy121212 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:47 PM

    That’s a lot of typing for something anyone who knows anything about football already knew.

  23. barroomhero80 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:47 PM

    Over it

  24. gweez76 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:49 PM

    More propaganda that would make Goebbels blush.

  25. lks311 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:49 PM

    Florio’s correct the best view is from the front, where you can see that Tate only has one hand on the ball, but the bigger evidence (which few seem to mention) is that Tate’s other hand is on Jenning’s arm in a effort to find the ball.

    Now, how can the replacement Ref’s see that angle and not rule in Jenning’s favor?

  26. SilentMajority says: Sep 26, 2012 8:49 PM

    I would like to thank the Green Bay Packers for taking “one for the team”, and helping to get the regular referees back on the field, thereby ensuring that a similar bad call isn’t called against my Chicago Bears.

    Thanks Green Bay, it couldn’t have happened without you!

  27. chrisbntx says: Sep 26, 2012 8:49 PM

    This was my main question, if there was a distinction between control and possession. Given this explanation it is clear the rules do in fact agree with common sense. Until now I sided on simultaneous possession even though my gut said interception. Of course I have little faith that the regular refs would have gotten it right or would have called the PI.

  28. VikesPrincess (Lisa) says: Sep 26, 2012 8:49 PM

    Give it a rest already. It’s Wednesday. Let’s move on.

  29. petehemlock says: Sep 26, 2012 8:49 PM

    According to chapter 6 paragraph 4 in subsection B of the Lingerie Football League semi-official bylaws and suggestions for fair play it was a touchdown.

  30. bryans49ers says: Sep 26, 2012 8:51 PM

    Reverse the decision then. . Packers win,right?

  31. 5280highthunder says: Sep 26, 2012 8:52 PM

    Nice break down, NFL is looking worse and worse by the hour.

  32. bobnelsonjr says: Sep 26, 2012 8:52 PM

    The NFL is wrecking the game with substandard officials in charge of their games.

    This is not the time to “move on.” It is about setting the record straight, truth, and justice.

    It also is about the integrity of the game and no one including the commissioner not being above the rules of the NFL.

    The hypocrisy of of “protecting the shield,” and “conduct detrimental to the league” not applying to the immorality of Tuesday’s league statement and the actions by the commissioner and 31 owners has seriously damaged the reputation of the NFL.

    The OWNERS AND LEAGUE OFFICIALS SHOULD HAVE THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND MORALITY, NOT THE LOWEST!!!!

  33. dustiebottums says: Sep 26, 2012 8:53 PM

    The call was correct.

    Let me explain. If you really look at it frame by frame, Golden Tates left hand stops the ball against Jennings right arm. Therefore, simultaneous catch. In the next split second you can see Jennings hands close in around the ball. I have watched this from multiple angles. I feel if Tate doesnt stick his hand in there, the ball hits Jennings in the chest.

    I think it is funny that this is being labeled a bad call. I actually cant believe they got it right. After such a terribly called game the one that they got right is the most scrutinized.

  34. wamj2008 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:54 PM

    I am Packers fan. I have bigger things to worry about, like surviving. Whether they won or lost, I still had to go into work the next day. But man… watching that replay again makes me angry.

  35. jbaxt says: Sep 26, 2012 8:55 PM

    Get over it, says everyone but Packer fan. It’s going to be funny when the Packers miss the playoffs by one game then they sue the league for costing them millions in playoff revenue.

  36. cursedvikingfan says: Sep 26, 2012 8:55 PM

    I agree, can we move on now? I mean I love reading about how T.J. Lang now has 90k followers on Twitter and such. Maybe some of them can give him and his fellow teammates some blocking pointers.

    In all seriousness though, the call was wrong, the result was a black eye for the league but what she we do? I mean let’s just award Green Bay another Lombardi trophy to makes amends because they are obviously the first team to ever get screwed royally by a call. (rolls eyes)

  37. yaryers says: Sep 26, 2012 8:55 PM

    Actually virger, this is the first anyone has actually proven — with the correct rules — that it wasn’t a catch.

  38. chrismatthewsucks says: Sep 26, 2012 8:55 PM

    Another story about this? Oh gawd, last time itbwas this nad bret favre was in the league.

  39. ordinaryday6 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:55 PM

    Exactly. I’ve been trying to explain this to people and they aren’t getting it. Thank you.

  40. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 8:55 PM

    Good rebuttal to the few deranged Seahawks fans who still cling to the notion that their victory was somehow legitimate, or quasi-legitimate, or partially legitimate, or whatever.

  41. Blue Reloaded says: Sep 26, 2012 8:56 PM

    At least give it the headline it deserves: “Click-bait”

  42. blacknole08 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:57 PM

    Everyone knows that Jennings gained control first. The video proves it. Even Tate does not dispute that.

    But the play doesn’t end there either. He may have controlled the ball first, but he did not possess long enough (Tate was still battling for the ball as they came down) to complete the catch fully (somewhat similar to Calvin Johnson rule).

    What made the whole thing confusing was the inconsistency on the part of the refs. But if you look even closer, the white ref (sorry don’t know his name) raised his hands to signal TD a few milliseconds before the black ref (again, trying to be PC here and not offend) signaled INT (he might have meant touchback, either way he ruled for GB).

    At that point, it becomes a judgement call, and since both players had the ball possessed at that point, it is simultaneous. If it is simultaneous, the offense gets the ball.

    The rule should be changed though to whoever has “more” possession AND control of the ball keeps the ball.

  43. sixburghrules says: Sep 26, 2012 8:58 PM

    Florio we all know that you are anti replacement refs.

    I like GB as my NFC team and like my Steelers this weekend they left it come down to a final drive./play! Can you be 100% sure the real refs would have called it differently? They might have caught the pass interference (maybe) but if there is a question about possession it goes to the the offensive player period!

    Your biased opinion about the replacement refs has been shining through for the the last 3 weeks. It is obvious you pull for the money grubbing underdogs. The refs don’t deserve the money they get period! And I am glad that the owners got rookie contracts under control last year.

    Your incessant posting against the replacement refs is getting OLD like YOU! and I might add it sound like lawyer speak!

  44. bobc74 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:58 PM

    BUT if it wasn’t for the bogus “defensive pass interference call” (the play where the Green Bay defender became the “receiver” and was called for pass interference, even though the replay clearly showed the Seahawks player was the one who committed the interference) that happened a few minutes prior to this play, there would have been no “failmary” play to argue over!

  45. 28for20 says: Sep 26, 2012 8:59 PM

    Had it happened to the Jags, Bucs, Vikes, Browns among others, this would be a non-issue.Crying Baby Packers. AT the nipple of the NFL.

  46. wayne1693 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:01 PM

    It is always emphasized, particularly in the end-zone, that if in the process of catching the ball, the player goes to the ground, then the player must maintain control and exhibit possession on the ground. The football move part is irrelevant in this instance…because the player is on the ground. UNDERSTAND, I AM NOT DEFENDING THE CALL, BUT: By the time the 2 refs got over to the 2 players on the ground, there was a struggle going on for possession. This is what the refs were focusing on, not what went on when the ball was initially being grabbed out of the air. One ref saw simultaneous possession; the other [presumably] did not, although this ref was signaling for the clock to stop, so it is not really clear what this ref. had concluded, if anything. What should have happened before the on-field call was made final, was a discussion between these 2 refs and the Head Ref. Unfortunately, this did not happen. But the primary blame must go to the 2 full-time NFL employees in the re-play booth. These 2 had much better multiple views than the 2 replacement refs on the field, and yet these 2 experienced-full-time guys upheld the call.

  47. capitaloffense says: Sep 26, 2012 9:01 PM

    Well, I for one, think its a great and much needed explanation. Plodding now…

  48. aaroncurryisbust says: Sep 26, 2012 9:02 PM

    After Wilson FAILED to convert 4th down again on that miscommunication to Tate in the endzone, the Packers STILL could have ended the game by getting a SINGLE 1st down. What do they do? Let the Seahawks blitz their asses into oblivion and literally cause Cedric Benson to fumble at the 1 yard line. Then force a 3 and out, giving Seattle ANOTHER opportunity. The Packers DESERVED this loss.

  49. ghjjf says: Sep 26, 2012 9:02 PM

    Maybe the refs should carry a copy of the rulebook during games so that they can spend an hour after every play trying to figure out the right call.

  50. thebrettman says: Sep 26, 2012 9:02 PM

    How can you say Jennings has gained control when Tate’s hand was the first to touch the ball, and remained behind the ball throughout the entire play?

    So your “indisputable” argument that Jennings gained control first is because he had both hands on the ball? Despite Tate’s left hand reaching the ball first and remaining on the ball the entire time?

  51. andrewproughcfe says: Sep 26, 2012 9:02 PM

    Again, the problem with your explanation is that last September, the regular refs ruled that Miles Austin had “simultaneous possession” and scored a TD after he put his hands on the ball in the exact same way after an apparent interception by Antonio Cromartie. The play is on Youtube.

    This is the way the rule is enforced – the offense is given broad leeway to try to rip the ball from a defender, and its called “simultaneous possession”. Regular refs look at it the same way. And keep in mind, the Miles Austin TD last year was also given a video review by the refs.

  52. sanchock says: Sep 26, 2012 9:03 PM

    “Though it gets complicated, it’s actually pretty simple. Jennings gained control first. Tate, at best, secured joint control later. That’s not a simultaneous catch.”
    —-
    How about not letting a game come down to a ref correctly deciding who gained control of a jump ball first? That’s just asking for trouble.

  53. steelmeats says: Sep 26, 2012 9:06 PM

    I sure hope you can dedicate yet another segment of tomorrows PFT Live to harp on why this was an incorrect call. You’ve managed to make a mockery of a great word like “debacle” by using it an erroneous number of times since the game ended. We all, well the majority of us, get it. The call was horrible, the refs sucked, Roger is sad, and the Packers got jobbed. Lets all move on. (after tomorrows recap of course)

  54. andylucksneck says: Sep 26, 2012 9:06 PM

    Just wish it could have happened to a bad team like the colts.

  55. ripster65 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:06 PM

    Oh, Brother…it just doesn’t matter anymore. The game is long since over. This was hardly the only bad call this season. I just hope that once this officiating fiasco gets resolved, we never have to hear another word about it from ANYBODY. Not players, not coaches, not the officials and not the fans. The refs should be held accountable. If a video shows he screwed up a call, perhaps a fine/suspension for him would be in order. As it stands, all they have to say is “Yup, I missed that one” and everyone just moves on like nothing happened just as we are right now. It sure is taking the fun out of things.

  56. jhein23 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:07 PM

    Diehard Green Bay fan but its time to move on.

  57. Max says: Sep 26, 2012 9:08 PM

    Damn that’s GOOD research from PFT! This settles it without a doubt, MD Jennings definitely had possession before Tate. But still nothing can be done about the result.

    I am left to wonder: Why don’t they expand replays for scoring plays?

  58. sepl12 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:09 PM

    So can we forward this to Goddell so he can overturn the outcome of the game and I can have my lost parlay turned into a victory. It’s all about the money… MY MONEY!

  59. dontgooffwondering says: Sep 26, 2012 9:11 PM

    The NFL’s statement only really addresses the PI that wasn’t called and that the when the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Notice that it refers to “when the players hit the ground”? When you look at the video, Tate is already on the ground as he reaches his right hand in to try and gain possession of the ball, which contradicts the NFL’s statement in regards to going to ground: “If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone.” Which Tate didn’t. He only gained joint possession after landing and after Jennings had control of the ball. Which goes back to the point made in the article. It’s indisputable that Jennings gained control first, as evidenced by Jennings having two arms at the ball when Tate has only one. Which according to the NFL’s statement: “It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.”

    I have no problem with the Seahawks claiming the win, as it was not them who made the call. Any other team, including the Packers if they were in the same situation, would have done the same.

    However, I do take issue with the fact that the NFL made no attempt to explain why two different officials made two contradicting calls, when the sideline ref only signaled a TD after walking up and seeing that both players had the ball. He shouldn’t have made the call without determining which player had the ball first.

    I also take issue with Tate claiming that he didn’t push off Shields and that he caught the ball fair and square. I get it, you secured victory for your team and you think you were in the right, but show some integrity and admit that what happened was the ref made the wrong call and you benefited. It happens all the time and it’s not as if it was your fault. You’ve secured the win, so you can’t lose anything by telling the truth.

    At the end of the day, this isn’t really even the ref who made the call’s fault other than he stuck his hand up to fill in. This is the NFL’s fault AND the NFLRA’s fault. Neither organization can say that they didn’t have a hand in this atrocity.

  60. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:11 PM

    You are doing the same thing the NFL is doing. Adroitly using the language in the rule to suit your result. The rule clearly states the following:

    A player (or players) jumping in the air has not legally gained possession of the ball until he satisfies the elements of a catch listed here.

    So by that rule Jennings cannot have possession while in the air. It’s neither a catch nor possession while a receiver or defender has the ball in the air. He must satisfy the elements of a catch.

    Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 of the NFL Rule Book defines a catch:

    A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is inbounds:
    (a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground; and
    (b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
    (c) maintains control of the ball long enough, after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, to enable him to perform any act common to the game (i.e., maintaining control long enough to pitch it, pass it, advance with it, or avoid or ward off an opponent, etc.).

    When a player (or players) is going to the ground in the attempt to catch a pass, Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1 states:

    Player Going to the Ground. If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

    The problem is with the simultaneous portion of the rule:

    Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5 states:

    Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.

    You say Jennings had posession first so there for there is no simultaneous posession with Tate. But based on the Catch portion of the rule Jennings can not make posession until he completes the elements of the catch rule.

    It’s like the tuck rule. We all saw it, we all believed Brady fumbled, but the semantics of the rule say it was a fumble. Same thing here. Our eyes say interception, but the contradiction between catch/posession and simultaneous possession refute your Jennings posession argument. Technically the refs got it right. You can’t have posession without a catch, and you can’t have a catch in the air. Charles Johnson ruled states it clearly.

  61. usernamewhateverx says: Sep 26, 2012 9:14 PM

    Isn’t is POSSIBLE that Tate makes a one-handed grab while Jennings is making a two-handed catch (and a slightly-bobbling one at that)?

    “It’s indisputable that Jennings gained control first, as evidenced by Jennings having two arms at the ball when Tate has only one.”

    WRs CAN and DO make one-handed sticks from time to time. Regardless of who possessed first in this instance, I don’t buy your argument that two arms vs. one is dispositive on the issue of control.

    I’m NOT a fan of either team, and I’d have ruled it a pick myself. Just saying…

  62. aaroncurryisbust says: Sep 26, 2012 9:15 PM

    I love how the Packers OL is crying about the refs instead of the fact that LITERALLY gave up 8 sacks…IN ONE HALF!!!

  63. bungalsfan101 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:19 PM

    if he natted the ball down like he was taught to we wouldn’t be discussing a screw job. so its his own fault that he’s not stronger than a receiver and could take the ball away. just bat the ball away next time and they will win

  64. Mike Florio says: Sep 26, 2012 9:23 PM

    Jennings had “control” before either player legally had “possession.” That’s the key here. If Jennings has “control” first, it’s not a simultaneous catch.

  65. allidoiswin55 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:23 PM

    Great couple of Freeze Frames That Prove Catch Or Atleast Doubt!

    http://wnst.net/nfl/upon-further-review-touchdown-seahawks/

    Go check out these freeze frames as well as some zoomed in shots.. Tate has the ball before Jennings morons. Jennings wraps his arm around the ball AND Tates left arm.. Tate then brings right arm around to furthur secure the ball.. all this possession/ control business is outragious.. This qualifies as a catch by rule bc of the grey area in Interpretation! I think the defense probably shouldve been awarded the ball.. But to NOT see how it was somewhat simultaneous is crazy!

    PEOPLE THINK FOR YOURSELVES.. Stop piggybacking the media jumping all over refs! That call is not as “CLEAR CUT” as you thought.. ! Its still probably a bad call, but there were a few of them..

    *Note Tate does rip the ball away at the end!

  66. facebookuser111 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:25 PM

    Mikey really belives in this one. Must be the guy who lost 150mil.

  67. facebookuser111 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:25 PM

    He had control, with Tates other hand. Without Tate, Jennings got Jack.

  68. jimphin says: Sep 26, 2012 9:26 PM

    There is no such thing as having control in the air to complete a catch. Control has to be maintained all the way to the ground and after. Still looks to me like a simultaneous catch.

    The Defender should have knocked the ball out of the back of the endzone instead of trying to increase his INT stats.

  69. facebookuser111 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:26 PM

    Aaron Rodgers would have caught that interception with his vagina.

  70. osiris33 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:27 PM

    Tate had both hands on the ball and both feet on the ground while Jenngings was still flailing in the air. By definition, that means he had “control” 1st.

    Welcome to the Seahawks world Packers. At least they didn’t steal a Super Bowl from you. Be thankful for that.

  71. catquick says: Sep 26, 2012 9:27 PM

    I haven’t heard anyone mention that none of this would have happened if Jennings wasn’t trying to pad his stats with an int. rather than just bat it down like they’re taught.

  72. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:27 PM

    The other thing that’s being left out is that Tate indeed does have his left hand on the ball( his hand is on Jennings chest) as Jennings puts two hands on the ball. So if your argument is that Jennings has possession in the air, then so does Tate. No where in the rule book does it state that two hands constitutes greater than one hand.

    We have all seen receivers make one handed catches so to say his one hand doesn’t constitute posession is incorrect.

    So again if they both have either one hand as Tate did, or two hands as Jennings did in the air, then they indeed had simultaneous posession, fell to the ground and simultaneous posession goes to the offense.

    And no I’m not a Seattle fan, just a fan whom took the time to interpet the rule without bias. My eyes say interception, the rule book says touchdown.

    It’s the leagues fault for making the rule about a catch equaling posession, and a catch not occurring until you touch the ground, and then also having a simultaneou rule that says you can have posession in the air!?!

    Bottom line you can twist the rule however you want because the NFL left a loophole. But even with the loophole Tate had his left hand on the ball the same time Jennings had his hands on the ball. And for those of you saying two hands equals greater posession, than you never saw the one handed randy moss TD catch

  73. bolts0621 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:27 PM

    Geez – stop already. Keep in mind – it’s the NFL, they own the league, they make the rules, and they interpret the rules.

    Touchdown, game over – Seahawks win

    Get over it

  74. packhawk04 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:33 PM

    Good article mike… you might want to write one about the replay officials refusing to overturn it only because it was in seattle.

  75. marthisdil says: Sep 26, 2012 9:34 PM

    Mike Florio says: Sep 26, 2012 9:23 PM

    Jennings had “control” before either player legally had “possession.” That’s the key here. If Jennings has “control” first, it’s not a simultaneous catch.

    ===============

    And it can’t be ruled an interception until they come down in-bounds, by the time that happened, “control” changed.

  76. beergeekjoey says: Sep 26, 2012 9:35 PM

    nice breakdown. accurate and concise (as such things go). amazing that folks are still trying to find ways to back up the utterly wrong performance of the replacements.

  77. rjrousseau says: Sep 26, 2012 9:35 PM

    Mike, problem is Jennings doesn’t have control. While the ball is in view, the ball is clearly moving.

  78. allidoiswin55 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:35 PM

    Bobc74 “Bogus PI Call against GB”

    Hey dummy that was The Previous Drive.. your team GOT THE BALL BACK A FEW PLAYS LATER! Quit complaining about relevantcy! The last Drive the “replacement refs” did not call PI on woodson (Pretty clear) no PI on Tate.. Obvious.. and dont forget during “the hail mary play” there was a Personal foul ROUGHING THE PASSER.. That was clear and ALSO NOT CALLED.. Atleast get your facts straight Bc you make irrelevant points it dicredits your statement!

  79. marthisdil says: Sep 26, 2012 9:36 PM

    Max says: Sep 26, 2012 9:08 PM

    Damn that’s GOOD research from PFT! This settles it without a doubt, MD Jennings definitely had possession before Tate. But still nothing can be done about the result.

    I am left to wonder: Why don’t they expand replays for scoring plays?

    ===============

    Florio forgot to mention all the other rules surrounding what he’s bitching about.

    He’s just mad he lost money betting on the Packers.

  80. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:37 PM

    PFT keeps saying Jennings had “control” first. Isn’t this a judgement on what control is? Isn’t is possible Tate’s one hand is just as much control as Jennings 2 hands? Maybe Tate has a vice like one handed grip. The point being its a judgement and there is nothing in the video that clearly shows Jennings hand “control” more than Tate did. I’ve seen linebackers try to pry the ball out of Adrian petersons one hand and fail.

    There just isn’t anything conclusive to overturn it. If Tate doesn’t get his one hand on the ball then I agree with your assessment. However we all know Tate did get that one hand on the ball.

    NFL needs to rewrite their catch rule so that is syncs up with their simultaneous rule

  81. Mike Florio says: Sep 26, 2012 9:37 PM

    As De Smith says, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. Read the rule. If Jennings has “control” (not “possession”) first, there can be no simultaneous catch.

  82. rpiotr01 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:38 PM

    I know. Everyone knows. Packers know and Seahawks know. But it’s time.

    Signed,

    A Packer fan tired of being angry about this

  83. steverolley says: Sep 26, 2012 9:39 PM

    This is not the worst call in the history of Football.

    But it is the most immature reaction to a bad call in NFL history.

  84. rooney24 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:40 PM

    Everyone has now seen the replay dozens of times. The replay that is shown in slo-mo 99% of the time. If you watch in real time, you are talking about maybe a couple tenths of a second in difference from when each player contacts the ball. Nearly everyone is SO sure they would have gotten the call right in real time, but in reality, most wouldn’t have been able to distinguish exactly what happened if they were the ref either.

  85. phillyrocks says: Sep 26, 2012 9:41 PM

    Just wondering……

    Can we get that bogus pass interference call on that only Green Bay TD drive? You know, the one on 3rd down that would have stopped them?

  86. Mike Florio says: Sep 26, 2012 9:42 PM

    The key word is “control.” And if you think a guy can have control of the ball with one hand at the same time another guy has control with two, then there’s no point trying to reason with you.

  87. Mike Florio says: Sep 26, 2012 9:42 PM

    And yet another person has commented without reading the article.

  88. thebrettman says: Sep 26, 2012 9:46 PM

    I’m not saying both had control – I’m saying Jennings didn’t have control by virtue of the fact that a) Tate’s hand arrived first and b) remains on the ball during the catch. Upon further review, the ball is moving throughout the jump, so control really is questionable.

  89. billsfan1 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:49 PM

    U understand that simultaneous catch means that both players would have had to catch it with both hands at the SAME TIME? once U realize that didn’t happen then u should understand it was green bays ball.

  90. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:50 PM

    @PFT. As De Smith says, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts. Read the rule. If Jennings has “control” (not “possession”) first, there can be no simultaneous catch.

    So there in lies the problem. You can’t have simultaneous posession if Jennings has control first, but you can’t have a interception according to the rules until Jennings touches the ground. And as someone else has posted the ball was moving in Jennings hand.

    I’m not arguing with you, I’m pointing out the inconsistency in the rules. One rule says no TD with out simultaneous posession, and the other rule says no interception/catch until you touch the ground.

    As a lawyer you know I could find a jury of 12 people to say Jennings didn’t have control as the ball is still moving, and after I showed them video of a hundred or more one handed catches, they would agree Tate has control with one hand.

    Just like you could find a jury of 12 to say the exact opposite. So what’s that say? It says the rule is confusing and wrong. You can make an argument for either side, but to blatantly state it’s irrefutably and interception is wrong

  91. donnymacjack says: Sep 26, 2012 9:52 PM

    Who had”control” first? Let this video be the judge since it shows all 4 hands involved.

  92. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 9:58 PM

    You say there is no reasoning with me because i believe a man can have control of the ball with one hand. I’m astonished that you don’t believe a player can have control with one hand. Watch some film of Emmit smith carrying the ball with one hand and watch defenders try to strip the ball with two hands they even grab the ball with both hands, but its Emmit who has control. Your argument lies in the fact that Jennings is controlling the ball in the air, but nothing on that film shows him controlling it , as the ball is moving and by the time it stops moving Tate has both hands on the ball as well. My argument is that by the time the ball stops moving Tate has both hands on it. When jenningsnhas two hands its still moving.

  93. chipwade says: Sep 26, 2012 9:59 PM

    If your argument is that the DB had control of the ball because he had two hands on the ball and the WR only had one, then that is not accurate. You can have control of the ball with one hand regardless of whether or not your other hand is involved. One handed catches happen frequently in football.

    Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about it and I am even a Seattle fan. Hopefully Green Bay makes or misses the playoffs by two or more games so this doesn’t get brought up for the next 50 years.

  94. fluffy19 says: Sep 26, 2012 10:00 PM

    And yes, Mike, I read the article. And yes, you can try to reason with me, but the rule says nothing about 1 hand vs 2. I’ve seen players control a ball with one hand all the time. Jennings doesn’t have 2 hands on the ball all the way through.

  95. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Sep 26, 2012 10:00 PM

    A lot of denial by those hurt by the cold, hard truth as presented above. Thank you, Florio.

  96. Mike Florio says: Sep 26, 2012 10:02 PM

    Jennings snatches it an instant after it lands on Tate’s hand. Jennings has “control” first. Interception.

  97. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 10:08 PM

    As a Packers fan, I am over this BS. But it still is amusing to read comments by Seahawks fans who employ tortuous definitions of the rules, as well as tortuous interpretations of the facts as clearly visible, that somehow the call was correct. I mean, no hostility here. Cling to your alternate reality. But it is kind of amusing.

  98. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 10:11 PM

    @ koenig61 says

    The ball moving argument is only relevant when the ball’s contact with the ground is in question. When it’s clearly on a dudes’ belly, whether it’s moving around doesn’t matter, esp when the dude has both hands on the ball, and has had control from the moment he put both his hands on the ball. Please work on your critical thinking.

  99. donnymacjack says: Sep 26, 2012 10:14 PM

    Mike, Tate catches it one handed, stops the ball, thereby controlling it. Jennings hands land next, then Tate’s 2nd hand. Simultaneous catch at that point.

    Yet all that said, I still interpet the rules (based on the Megatron non-catch”) that the catch is not completed until both players come down.

    But in either case tie goes to the offense. TD.

    But the real tradgedy that you and most everyone (except Aaron Rogers) keep missing the fact that the game wasn;t won or lost here, it was won or lost with a minimum of 4 other TERRIBLE calls or non-calls.

    1. Tate’s offensive P.I.
    2. Green Bay’s defensive P.I. just before that.
    3. Seattle’s defensive P.I. against Chancellor on GB’s TD drive.
    4. The roughing the passer call on Wilson’s INT throw.

    And maybe a 5th… The phantom holding call on Seattle’s 2nd drive of the 2nd half.

    EACH would have changed the score be stopping drives or allowing them to continue. So EACH had a huge affect on the outcome. And it sucks, because the fans are now doing nothing but talking about one crap play instead of talking about how great Seattle’s defense was in the first half and how great GB adjusted in the 2nd half.

  100. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 10:14 PM

    Bottom line: Green Bay will not have to deal with season-long skepticism, from all corners, regarding their win total.

  101. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 26, 2012 10:15 PM

    The NFL has gone the way of the WWE!

  102. thebrettman says: Sep 26, 2012 10:15 PM

    No, he puts his hands on it after Tate puts his hand on it – the ball then proceeds to jostle around until all players fall to the ground, upon which Tate brings in his other hand.

    You can understand how there were two different calls made at the end of this play as it happened in mere seconds real-time. We have been debating this for over two days and have watched countless replays and still come to a different opinion.

    Bottom line is I don’t think Jennings ever had control, and in any event, it is not indisputable evidence that he did.

  103. jrmbadger says: Sep 26, 2012 10:22 PM

    Lots of denial here. Florio is right. Jennings has the pick. No question.

    But as far as convincing the naysayers, I wouldn’t waste any more breath Mike. They are like birthers, no amount of evidence or logic will change their preconceived notions.

  104. mikey77750 says: Sep 26, 2012 10:26 PM

    The call was terrible, the Packers should have won the game. But the team that should really feel miffed about all this are the New Orleans Saints. They are 0-3, and they now get to play a very angry Packers team that is looking to take out all of its frustration on someone else. The Saints are in big trouble on Sunday.

  105. donnymacjack says: Sep 26, 2012 10:26 PM

    I guess the best we can all hope for is that both Seattle and Green Bay make the playoffs or miss the playoffs and by 2 or more games, so none of us have to think about this lunacy any longer.

    (But wouldn’t it be fun if the Packers had to come to Seattle in January for the NFC title game?) Ok, ok…low blow.
    :)

  106. Pacific NW Mark says: Sep 26, 2012 10:27 PM

    sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 10:08 PM

    Cling to your alternate reality. But it is kind of amusing.

    Seahawks 14, Packers 12. How’s that for reality?

  107. croghan1919 says: Sep 26, 2012 10:29 PM

    If presidence has been set by previous rulings then the on field decision should be reversed.
    The USGA/RA have the rules of golf and the decisions on the rules of golf. The two NEVER conflict BECAUSE the integrity of the game of golf would be compromised.
    So there you have it… the integrity of the NFL game has BEEN compromised.
    I’m soooo happy my team has a bye this week.

  108. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 10:31 PM

    Go to 11 seconds of that video and drag the slider. Tate’s left hand and jennings left hand both touch the ball simultaneously. In my view one hand can and is control. Seen it a thousand times in my 45 years of watching football. As Jennings attempts to control the ball it’s MOVING towards his chest, when it touches his chest (actually Tate’s left hand as Tate’s hand is on Jennings chest) by this time Tate’s right hand is on the ball and he has every bit as much control as Jennings.

    But what really matters is you have a rule that says you can’t have simultaneous posession if one player controlled it first.

    And another rule that says you can’t have a catch or a reception until you fulfill all elements of a catch.

    So which rule takes precedence ? If its not simultaneous because in your view Jennings has control, then it’s not an interception in my view because you can’t intercept a ball until you fulfill the elements of a catch, the key element being touching the ground.

    It’s a pardon the pun ” Catch 22″.

    Unless there is some way to say beyond a shadow of a doubt who had control in the air then you go with simultaneous posession on the ground.

    I’ve looked at the super zapruder type break down 50 times and I can’t tell who has control, because the balls continuously moving until they both have all 4 hands in it.

  109. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 10:32 PM

    Wow. Seahawks fans are trolling this hard right now, based on thumbs and recent comments. Please- take the win! Enjoy it. Packers fans will stop talking about it just as soon as you trolls stop spinning it as legitimate. We can accept the fact that circumstances, whether you want to blame the NFL, NFLRA, Goodell himself, etc., deprived us of a win. Blatant OPI aside, you are demeaning yourselves when you misinterpret rules and facts to suggest that the play was anything other than an interception. Take the win. But please stop lying about it.

  110. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 10:40 PM

    @thebrettman

    “Bottom line is I don’t think Jennings ever had control, and in any event, it is not indisputable evidence that he did.”

    You have the right to say that I guess. But there was zero evidence, disputable or otherwise, that Tate ever had control. I don’t get this. Are these Seahawks clowns driven to defend the indefensible by an unexpressed fear, insecurity, whatever, that this will be the Seahawks only significant “win” for the next half-decade?

  111. wolfmanpatriot says: Sep 26, 2012 10:40 PM

    regardless of whether Tate eventually secured simultaneous “possession” of it.

    ====================

    How does one EVENTUALLY gain SIMULTANEOUS possession?

    That is like saying a twin was eventually born at the same time.

  112. koenig61 says: Sep 26, 2012 10:42 PM

    @sterlingrodgers

    The ball moving argument is only relevant when the ball’s contact with the ground is in question. When it’s clearly on a dudes’ belly, whether it’s moving around doesn’t matter, esp when the dude has both hands on the ball, and has had control from the moment he put both his hands on the ball. Please work on your critical thinking.

    ———-
    Really sterling, ? My argument is one rule states you can’t have a reception / interception until you fulfill all elements of a catch, one of which is coming to the ground.

    Also if you can tell with 100% certainty that ball wasn’t moving you are seeing something different than the film. Jennings and Tate both touch it simultaneously with their left hands, Jennings attempts to cradle it to his chest, at this point Tate puts his other hand on the ball.

    PFTs argument is the simultaneous rule clearly states if one player has control in the air the second player can not attempt to also control the ball, which I would agree with 100% except you can’t tell that Jennings is controlling the ball. He’s trying to pull it into his body.

    The question becomes, does Jennings truly control the ball, prior to Tate getting his second hand on it? And if you can’t have a catch/ interception until you fulfill the elements of a catch, how can Jennings intercept it before touching the ground?

    There is just no clear definitive evidence showing control by Jennings. You can assume he had control, but when you go frame by frame it’s moving, and when it stops moving they both have 4 hands on it

  113. aliensshoot1st says: Sep 26, 2012 10:45 PM

    If a catch can be made with one hand, ‘control’ can be constituted by one hand. Tate’s hand was on the ball first, followed by Jenning’s. Going by the rule book, it’s a touchdown. The Pack lost. Deal with it.

  114. dirtysouthironmen says: Sep 26, 2012 10:46 PM

    Can someone explain to me why everyone is arguing this? It is a dead issue, the game is final. To keep debating either side is an exercise in futility. Seahawks win, Packers lose. That is what the records books and standings will show. No matter how right or wrong it is, those are the facts.

  115. bspurloc says: Sep 26, 2012 10:50 PM

    NFL NETWORK pulled a full on foxnews….
    every talking goodell ot declared it was a TD….

  116. carrboxx says: Sep 26, 2012 10:55 PM

    So…right after this play happened, and all the relative insanity ensued, I immediately thought to myself “ok Mike, I’ll be waiting for a post that explains it in extreme detail and your assessment of the situation as both a lawyer and someone very connected to the NFL”. Or in other words, and more closely describing what I actually thought, “I wonder what ProFootballtalk.com is gonna say about this play”. And I finally got it. This post was awesome. Thank you for taking the time to break it down to this extent. Again, this post was awesome. It’s why I’ve come to this site almost every day for seven years – because when I argue, err, disagree, with other NFL fans I know they aren’t going to trump me with knowledge. Not after posts like this. Keep up the great work!

  117. omegaichiban says: Sep 26, 2012 10:55 PM

    Now,if control eradicates the megatron rule then so be it, but that just illustrates that the NFL rule book is jacked up.
    But we knew that…

  118. contract says: Sep 26, 2012 11:02 PM

    Nice work Florio!

  119. thejimius says: Sep 26, 2012 11:09 PM

    While Tate touched the ball, it was obvious to me that Jennings had both hands on it with full control while Tate did not. Jennings had control of the football as he was going to the ground, and since Tate only had one hand touching the ball, I don’t see how this can be simultaneous.

    On the Austin catch last year that somebody mentioned, that was different–in that case, both players had both hands on the ball at exactly the same time as they fell into the end zone. That is simultaneous. Tate’s desperation grab is nothing more, and I fail to see how touching the ball with one hand constitutes control.

  120. andrewproughcfe says: Sep 26, 2012 11:10 PM

    @donnymacjack — “Who had”control” first? Let this video be the judge since it shows all 4 hands involved.”

    ========================

    Awesome video – I did not see the front angle before like that. I’ll bet the refs had access to this video, and that’s why they made the call not to overturn. This video makes it clear the call on the field was correct.

  121. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 11:12 PM

    @koenig61 says

    I have suddenly realized that the residents of the state of Washington have a monopoly on common sense.

    The hundreds of millions of people who see this otherwise are deluded- they should take their cue and learn from the disinterested people of Washington state.

  122. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 26, 2012 11:16 PM

    I will give the benefit of the doubt to certain outspoken Seahawks fans, and assume that if roles were reversed, if the receiver was Greg Jennings, and the DB Chancellor, that they would be banging their heads against the wall arguing that Jennings’ tenuous touch of the ball was equal “control” to Chancellor’s tight clutch of the ball against his chest.

  123. carrboxx says: Sep 26, 2012 11:22 PM

    And another thing…everyone in the world can freeze frame, capture still shots, attempt to dissect this play to either support or disprove that Jennings or Tate caught the ball. But in real time, as it happened, most every human being watching the play thought Jennings had it. Including one of the two officials. The one who signaled touchback. For every one person that, immediately after the play happened, thought that maybe just maybe Tate had somehow also had control/possession and it was a simultaneous catch (cause no one is really saying Jennings didn’t catch the darn ball too), there were probably a million or more people who thought that Jennings had two hands on it, controlled it to his belly as Tate still just had one hand touching – not gripped up like a basketball player palms a ball but rather kind of touching – the ball and therefore had control first and that it was an interception. In real time it absolutely looked like Jennings had control and possession and that it was an interception. To freeze a YouTube video and say “look at this one frozen-in-time moment because if so there is a plausible possibility that an argument can be made that Tate had it too” seems, in my not-so-humble opinion, silly. it has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with being spoonfed by the media. That’s crazy pants. I watched the play with my own two eyes. Days later and after all this dissection, I still can’t believe that people actually think that it initially looked like Tate caught it too. Tate had one hand on it, his arm was outstretched, while Jennings had two hands gripping the ball, pulled it to his belly and brought it to the ground. That Tate kept a hand on it during that whole time is nifty, and that he reached around and tried to put his other hand on it, even though Jennings has had two hands on the ball and tucked it against his belly for the duration of the play, is good and well. But my point is, in real time, I can’t believe someone thought Tate had enough possession to even consider simultaneous catch. I think it’s much easier to defend the possibility of Tate having any type of control or possession using freeze frame and still shots than I do at all just watching the play happen as an NFL fan that also has two functioning eyes.

  124. grandsonofcoach says: Sep 26, 2012 11:28 PM

    It appears based on some of the Seattle fans posts its harder to win on a play that most of the world views as a bad call. Nice post Florio.

  125. videinfra78 says: Sep 26, 2012 11:29 PM

    I cannot believe people are debating this still and that some still don’t understand the difference between control and possession.

    1. It is obvious Jennings had control first, a hand does not constitute control. Jennings gets both hands on the ball and pulls it into his chest. That is control. Putting one hand on the ball while it’s in someone else’s chest, is not control.

    2. Even if you want to claim that somehow, no matter how obvious it is that Jennings had control first, and in fact Tate did; Tate takes his hand off the ball! Therefore he would have lost control and did not maintain it! Therefore, Jennings still had control first.

    3. Tate said HIMSELF in an interview that Jennings had it first! If you cannot see with your eyes, how about taking Tate’s own word for it?! Asked if Jennings had the ball first, Tate said: “Maybe [Jennings] had it first, but I took it away from him.” That means he just admitted that Jennings had control first!!!

    How f–king stupid do you have to be to not understand that this was not a simultaneous catch under the rules as Florio has just pointed out? How stupid are these people that still can’t understand what everyone else did as soon as they saw it?!

  126. krock75 says: Sep 26, 2012 11:45 PM

    IT WAS A CATCH BY TATE! You can write a book and show the video a million times, but it is still a catch.

    Want to know how I know. The ref signaled TD, the booth reviewed it, the score changed, and now there is a W next to Seattle.

    I have no sympathy for the media, the packers, the fans, or anyone else crying about it. There was no outrage, no media crusade, and no apologies from Brady or the Patriots after the “Tuck Rule” game so there should be none now. Suck it up and move on, just like all of us Raiders fans had to do.

  127. pete387 says: Sep 26, 2012 11:50 PM

    All that’s left now is the screaming if Seattle gets the last Wild Card on this tainted win.

  128. andrewproughcfe says: Sep 26, 2012 11:56 PM

    @thejimius — “On the Austin catch last year that somebody mentioned, that was different–in that case, both players had both hands on the ball at exactly the same time as they fell into the end zone. That is simultaneous. Tate’s desperation grab is nothing more, and I fail to see how touching the ball with one hand constitutes control.”

    ==========================

    Nope – watch the “Miles Austin STEALS IT!” video on Youtube. At the 37 second mark, the TV replay showed clearly that Cromartie had both hands on the ball, and Miles was just reaching in to touch it with his first hand.

    Regardless of how the rules are written, it’s clear from looking at the Miles Austin TD catch that the regular refs give a certain amount of leeway to the offensive player to stick his hands in after the fact and try to wrestle it free, as part of “simultaneous possession” – as long as the receiver tries to do it immediately after the defender grasps it. The Austin TD was also reviewed, and clearly the refs could see that Cromartie had two hands on it before Austin did.

  129. fluffy19 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:01 AM

    It was a TD

  130. footballchic777 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:17 AM

    And as fans, many of us had already stated this rule, but the NFL obviously felt we were not well enough versed with the rules of the game to know they were blowing smoke! They still never addressed the fact that there were 2 separate calls on the field, and they did not settle that before going to a replay. But I guess since they have settled with the refs now, they will feel that is a mute point.

  131. eepobee says: Sep 27, 2012 12:17 AM

    but i disagree that jennings “gained control” first. i’ve seen a pic from the back of the endzone clearly showing that tate’s hands where on the ball first. so now it comes down to your definition of control. what does it mean to control the ball? in defining control you’ll start to see “feet down”, which tate also does first. the truth is it wasn’t clearly caught by jennings or tate; it was caught by both (depending on your definition of catch, but keep in mind, catches are made with 1 hand). considering how close it was it’s reasonable to give possession to the passer’s team (i.e. seahawks), so the refs got it right.

  132. trapshoot says: Sep 27, 2012 12:27 AM

    Sunday’s game is history. The debate will continue for a long, long time. Hopefully the fiasco will speed up getting. The NFL refs back. In the meantime the Packers better take out their frustrations on NO on Sunday.

  133. bfrsd says: Sep 27, 2012 12:31 AM

    I used to think that those posting that the refs got the call right and the rest of the world are wrong were just posting to stir things up and be contrary. Maybe make a few Packer fans mad.

    After reading some of these posts, I’m convinced some of you actually believe the crud you’re spewing. You can watch the video in slow motion, fast motion, regular motion, picture by picture, or whatever way and still be 100% assured that the call was wrong.

    The most bogus claim of all coming from Hawks fans, however, is that the Packers deserved to lose meaning the Hawks somehow deserved to win. The Packers had more yards and a greater time of possession offensively. Both offenses looked bad and both defenses looked good. The Packers defense statistically was a little bit better on the Hawks home field. So tell me how the Packers deserved to lose anyways but the Seahawks deserved to win?

  134. videinfra78 says: Sep 27, 2012 1:03 AM

    Wow, watched the Miles Austin video Seattle fans are clamoring about. No, lol. That was what a simultaneous catch looks like, that is actually a great comparison. They both 1. grab it at the same time, 2. neither pulls either hand off the ball, and 3. both pull it into their chest at the same time, 4. both were face to face, thus, both gaining control at the same time. Exactly what DIDN’T happen Monday night. Jennings controlled it first, Tate never even brought it into his chest, Tate lifted a hand off therefore losing control, and Tate was around Jennings back. Glad the real refs are back.

  135. axespray says: Sep 27, 2012 1:04 AM

    bryans49ers says:
    Sep 26, 2012 8:51 PM
    “Reverse the decision then. . Packers win,right?”

    nah, as a Packer fan … we either win it on Gameday or never… I’d be sick to my stomach if they reversed it 3 days after the game, that just feels lame…. The Refs blew it, it sucks – No respect for Seahawk/Viking fans anymore – whatever, Bring on the Saints….

  136. jpmelon says: Sep 27, 2012 1:17 AM

    I thought that all touchdowns were reviewed in the booth by a regular review official? The guy working in the booth is not supposed to be a replacement official.

    So how does the bad call on monday night have anything to do with replacement referees? Possession of the ball is reviewable, and there was video evidence that supports Florio’s take on the matter; then why did this have anything to do with replacement officials?

  137. blanchonegro says: Sep 27, 2012 1:19 AM

    tate had simultaneous control with one hand hit left hand. you can have control and possession with 1 hand.

  138. coachglove says: Sep 27, 2012 1:22 AM

    problem with your argument: you imply it is not possible for a player to gain control of a ball with one hand…obviously not true as we have seen one handed catches. Therefore you can suggest that Tate had equal control throughout the play. Nowhere does the rule say that degrees of control matter. If GB player had ever established sole control of tje ball not just 2 hands vs. 1, you’d be right – end of story, but saying GB had MORE control is not that same as saying Tate had no control simultaneously.

  139. coachglove says: Sep 27, 2012 1:28 AM

    I agree with a few other posters and add that the 2nd ref never signaled interception (by signaling touchback or pointing Green Bay’s way) he only signaled for the clock to stop.

  140. packerfanfordecades says: Sep 27, 2012 3:46 AM

    Yep …. I just watched the video clip referenced in your story frame by frame and was able to catch a snip and then magnify that snipped image.

    The magnified clip shows that Jennings has both hands surrounding the ball and in full control of the ball ….. and …. in that frame and the frame or two thereafter, the Seattle guy’s left hand was not as high as the ball.

    The magnified clip shows that just one or two of the longest outstretched fingers of the Seattle left hand were just barely touching the bottom of the ball …. or maybe the very end of the highest Seattle finger was still a sliver of an inch below the bottom of the ball.

    If it were an NBA play at the rim of the basket, the Seattle guy should not be called for goal tending because the tip of his finger was below the rim and therefore not high enough to modify the trajectory of the basketball before it got to the basket (Jennings’ hands). The ball entered the basket (Jennings’ hands) without any influence from the Seattle fingertip. That’s two points in basketball and no foul …. and if both guys later fall on the wood floor after the ball comes out the bottom of the net and fight over the ball, it doesn’t change the two points.

    Mr. Florio, hats off to you for a very well constructed argument.

    My PC resolution is OK, but not FBI quality so I’d be interested in what a really great graphic card would reveal.

    You know, in the movies they can just about see a football from outer space with the equipment they have ……. so some advanced technology in this case would be very welcome. Let’s put a 24 hour hold on looking at that rock on Mars so we can get some high resolution scientific talent looking at this video frame evidence from Monday night.
    .

  141. packerfanfordecades says: Sep 27, 2012 4:55 AM

    Oh yeah …. and then there is the fact that the Seattle fingertips on the ball way up in the air were left hand fingertips. But ….. on the ground in the scrum, the Seattle left arm disappears altogether and it’s now the Seattle right arm that is helping Jenning hold the ball against Jenning’s chest.

    How did Mr. Tate move control of the ball from his left-hand fingertips to his right hand? Conclusion must be that at some point while everyone was falling down, the Seattle left hand fingertips got completely disconnected from the football. Both of Jenning’s hands retained control of the ball all the way down to the ground.
    .

  142. muskyhunter2542 says: Sep 27, 2012 9:15 AM

    Its over…. Your welcome the the rest of the NFL for being the team that brought the real officials back…

  143. muskyhunter2542 says: Sep 27, 2012 9:17 AM

    Anyone who truly thinks that was a TD is either blind or is liking through teal colored glasses.
    Golden Taint didnt even have his right hand on the ball till the ball was alread secured by Jennings.
    Open your eyes.

  144. thejimius says: Sep 27, 2012 11:59 AM

    @ andrewproughcfe

    I’m afraid I disagree on the Austin catch. I just rewatched it on NFL Gamepass, and it definitely looks to me that both players put their hands on the ball at the same time.

  145. mark0226 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    The real issue here is not whether the call was correct or incorrect. The issue is whether the real officials would have got it right. Would anyone bet their life on that?

    The real officials screw up calls all the time, so it is not a forgone conclusion that this screw-up is the result of having replacement officials. They are a convenient scapegoat, causing everyone to call for the real officials. When the real “part-time” ($200K) officials screw up, everyone calls for “full-time” officials, presumably because full=time officials would know the rules better than the real “part-time” officials.

  146. callmetrl says: Sep 27, 2012 1:04 PM

    You know who else screwed up the hail mary, besides the officials (and the NFL)?

    The Packers!

    Jennings was first to the ball – all he had to do was smack it out of bounds or spike it into the ground. Instead, he went for the interception and put the replacement refs in a position to screw up the call.

    Did the Packers learn nothing from the end of the first half of their playoff loss to the Giants last year?

    Apparently not.

  147. hawkfan72 says: Sep 27, 2012 2:06 PM

    Most people believe INT, mainly because they refuse to give any “control” to Tate with his one hand.

    The ball hits Tate’s hand, stops, and his hand never leaves. So much so that he is holding the ball in the hand (having never left) all alone when all is said and done. Jennings could not get that ball out of his left hand, even though he was ripping at it in the pile. There is no visual evidence that the ball ever moved out of his left hand. Whether Jennings helped him keep contact with the ball or not with his arm is irrelevant. We have seen guys maintain control using helmets, defenders, whatever. The WR is always awarded a catch if the ball hits their hands and they maintain holding the ball through the completion of the play.

    I really believe it should have been ruled a catch, just like it was. There are no rules in the NFL Rulebook about a player having “more control” than another. The ball stops on Tate’s hand first. It stops it’s revolution and it’s trajectory is stopped. Then Jennings hands close over it. Maybe he aided Tate in the catch, but I don’t get how people can argue that Tate had no degree of control simultaniously with Jennings. The NFL does not differentiate degrees of “control”.

  148. elvoid says: Sep 27, 2012 3:22 PM

    Let’s grant that by the book, the call was wrong. I’m giving you that one.

    However, now let’s get to the part all you armchair referees should be ashamed of: the treatment of the replacement official over his call.

    Yes – with the benefit of slo-mo replay, we can see he was wrong. However, at full speed, is there anyone here that can honestly say a “simultaneous possession call” based on what was seen during the catch and after was a bad call? It was absolutely a reasonable call on the field at full speed – just as a call the other way would have been equally reasonable – at full speed, this play was just that close, plain and simple.

    Where this was blown – and the officials that should be taking the heat for blowing the call – are the replay officials – and THEY are NOT replacements.

    So to sum up:

    Call on the field by replacement official: reasonable

    Review in the booth by regular offical: blown

    If we’re going to crucify an official over this, can it at least be the right one?

  149. halps80 says: Sep 27, 2012 3:53 PM

    Love this page and respect your work, Mr Florio. I think it’s a shame that you are choosing to ridicule those who have a different interpretation of the film and application of the rule. Footage from both the sideline and back of the end zone show the ball appearing to pass THROUGH Jennings hands (to the extent that it probably would have bounced off his chest) and INTO Tate’s left palm. Jennings subsequently places both hands ON the ball, Which is already resting in Tate’s palm. Tate’s left hand appears to never break contact, and he is then able to get a second hand on it. By that measure, Tate had control first. At the very least, he had an equal claim which, by rule gives it to the receiver.

    If Jennings so decisively had “more” control than Tate, then why was he not able to wrest control from Tate, despite having 100% more hands on the ball?

  150. kmanx89 says: Sep 28, 2012 5:41 PM

    aliensshoot1st says:
    Sep 26, 2012 10:45 PM

    If a catch can be made with one hand, ‘control’ can be constituted by one hand. Tate’s hand was on the ball first, followed by Jenning’s. Going by the rule book, it’s a touchdown. The Pack lost. Deal with it.

    ——————————————————

    Not if one guy has both hands on the ball, pulls it into his chest and hangs onto it all the way through while you barely have your fingertips with one hand on it and desperately try to rip it out as you both go to the ground, that’s not “control” at all, buddy. Sorry.

  151. kmanx89 says: Sep 28, 2012 5:52 PM

    Footage from both the sideline and back of the end zone show the ball appearing to pass THROUGH Jennings hands (to the extent that it probably would have bounced off his chest) and INTO Tate’s left palm. Jennings subsequently places both hands ON the ball, Which is already resting in Tate’s palm. Tate’s left hand appears to never break contact, and he is then able to get a second hand on it. By that measure, Tate had control first. By that measure, Tate had control first.
    ——————————————————

    But Jennings pulled it into his CHEST with both hands, while Tate merely got a hand on it (and eventually both hands), so no, Jennings clearly controlled it first (and maintained control all the way through the catch, as Florio so eloquently points out). Merely touching the ball is NOT control, especially if the other guy tucks it into his body with both hands and you then try to rip it out. Stop being retarded.

  152. sariff420 says: Sep 28, 2012 6:14 PM

    What’s missing in all this is Tate comes out with the ball! I know , irrelevant but if Jennings had “control” how does he lose it to someone else?

  153. kmanx89 says: Sep 28, 2012 7:49 PM

    sariff420 says:
    Sep 28, 2012 6:14 PM

    hat’s missing in all this is Tate comes out with the ball! I know , irrelevant but if Jennings had “control” how does he lose it to someone else?

    ——————————————————

    Yeah, AFTER Jennings already hit the ground with the ball still gripped tightly in his hands.

    Why do you think the scab ref closest to the play (you know, the one who saw it unfold RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF HIM) ruled interception?

  154. sariff420 says: Sep 28, 2012 7:51 PM

    I’m thinking the NFL didn’t envision this scenario when they wrote the rule book. The rule book seems to be written with the thought process of both players being grounded to earth when trying to make a catch vs. both being in the air at the same time

  155. kstreetdawg says: Sep 29, 2012 5:39 PM

    This analysis of the rule is sound, but it assumes that Jennings undeniably obtained control prior to Tate. The fact of the matter is that the timing Tate’s control is uncertain. And to think that Jennings may have controlled it fractions of fractions of a second before Tate is nothing that could be determined with the naked eye, nor even on the slo-mo replay. Tate’s left hand never left contact with ball. So at what point is it in control of the ball? I’ve seen receiver make one-handed catches where the ball literally sticks to their paw and is never tucked in, so if you think there is no way his one hand had control, you might be amazed with the NFL receiver’s talent.

    Again good analysis of the rule, but the video is inconclusive on the fact of control. It really depends on the person viewing the catch’s perception. I do not think that this was anywhere near the obvious blown call that ESPN and NBC (apparently) believe it to be.

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