M.D. Jennings: It’s tough to learn something from Monday night


With the NFL and the NFLRA agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday, the great fallout from the debacle in Seattle on Monday night will be the end of the lockout.

That won’t make the Packers feel any better about the result of the game, but there was the hope that the final play of the game could turn out to be a teachable moment for safety M.D. Jennings and the rest of the Green Bay defensive backs. Many have pointed out that if Jennings had knocked the ball down instead of trying to catch it, the replacement officials would never have been given the chance to make their fateful ruling.

Such suggestions don’t do much for Jennings, though. Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that the events of Monday night have left Jennings an unchanged man.

“It’s tough to learn something from that situation,” Jennings said. “You can second-guess yourself, thinking catch it or bat it down. But I just had to go with my instincts, and that was to go up and try to make a play on the ball.”

The key for Jennings and any other defensive backs is to have their instincts tell them to knock the ball down instead of intercepting it on a Hail Mary. That’s easier said than done for players who spend every other play of every game thinking about making an interception, of course, but they got a pretty valuable lesson in the benefits of that approach on Monday night.

34 responses to “M.D. Jennings: It’s tough to learn something from Monday night

  1. There’s only one thing to learn from Monday night:

    He who holds the gold makes the golden rules.

    (and they care more about their gold than they do about you)

  2. Jennings, and the rest of the Packers, should be wondering if they would’ve scored more than 6 points if not for the phantom PI call on 3rd and 2 (out of FG range). If not for that PI call, maybe the 7 points that Seattle had already scored would’ve been enough for them to win.

  3. two seasons ago, texans v jaguars. Hail mary was thrown, one kareem jackson of h town batted the ball strait down to a reciever… That ball hit jennings in the numbers how could he not catch it.. comin from Texan fan

  4. It sucks it had to take a play like this to get the real referees back but it happened. As a Packers fan I was stunned and p!ssed to see Monday night’s game end like that but hopefully these guys are going to move forward and take out some aggression on Sunday against New Orleans.
    Also I don’t blame Jennings for going for the interception, if he had tried to bat the ball down I feel like the position he was in, there was a good chance if he batted the ball down he makes too much contact with Tate and possibly a defensive PI call.

  5. It’s easy as observers to say he should have knocked it down, but looked what happened with TEN vs DET when the DB knocked it down and it went for a TD.

    He did the right thing, he intercepted the pass and was the first with control and possession before Tate wrapped his arms around him, not the ball. Can’t help that the refs screwed him.

  6. Ask the titans how well knocking down the ball worked for them last week, and the texans last year. If you have a chance to intercept the ball, why not pick it off and guarantee no one else has a chance to catch it.

  7. Easy to say swat it down instead of go for pick but look at lions game titans swatted it down and Titus young caught it I’ve seen that 2 times this year Jennings isn’t to blame at all

  8. calloustongue says: Sep 27, 2012 7:54 AM

    It’s easy as observers to say he should have knocked it down, but looked what happened with TEN vs DET when the DB knocked it down and it went for a TD.

    Not to mention a game whereas I believe it was Jacksonville against Houston(?) where a player tried to knock it down, got a deflection and the receiver caught it for a TD and they was screaming ‘he should have intercepted it’. These things cuts both ways; however, I agree with Packers fans, the wrong call was made and the league upheld it because to overturn it would have led to the opening of Pandora’s Box.

  9. It’s not like Detroit benefitted from someone batting the ball instead of catching it. Or Jacksonville last year. Teams are practicing and sending someone in late specifically to catch the tip/bat down. The game is changing.

  10. The whole always “knock it down” theory is garbage. If you know you can catch it (and he did), why give the other team a chance at catching a batted pass.

    Coaches typically know this and typically have a receiver standing at the goal line to catch the batted down ball. Just look at the Detriot game.

  11. So let me get this straight. If Jennings were just a more fundamentally sound player all nothing bad could have happened? I understand players are taught to bat the ball down, but how did that work out for the Titans? The real problem was not that a player messed up. The problem was that some under-qualified officials messed up a few times on one play. This story is really pretty stupid. Everyone knows what went wrong and imagining an alternate universe where things didn’t happen the way they did is a waste of time and space.

  12. With no one behind him, it would have been easier to bat it backwards than try to catch it (with the intended receiver in position to also try and catch it).

    If he’s unwilling to learn from experience, history may just repeat itself.

  13. Wasn’t there a play two years ago, Jags vs. Texans, where the last play was a Hail Mary, the Texans defender tried to bat down the ball and he did so right into the Jags receiver’s hands? I believe it was Mike Thomas. Sometimes batting it backfires too.

  14. @gtodriver;

    If that old man Driver of yours would’ve caught the TD pass that hit him in both hands this wouldn’t have been an issue regardless of the call.

  15. Please! Saying defenders should always bat the ball down on a hail mary pass is just dumb. It doesn’t always work, and there are multiple examples of that. I’d say the bigger lesson for the Packers is to keep their QB from being sacked 8 times in the 1st half. If the offense had done its job, the replacement ref’s ridiculous screw up wouldn’t have mattered.
    That being said, I feel terrible for the Packers. Despite all of their mistakes, they had fought back and were in a position to win the game. Unfortunately the ref’s were the 12th man in Seattle. Hopefully this loss doesn’t negatively impact the rest of their season.
    Trying to look on the bright side….this put so much egg on the NFL’s face that a deal was reached with the real ref’s sooner than expected.

  16. Should have knocked it down? Why? Everyone in the country knows he caught it including Seahawk fans and haters. You are left with this riduculous excuse because saying Tate caught would make you look like a fool like him.

    How many of you seen the Sports Science piece. For those who missed it they blew up the video and it showed Tate was never close to catching the ball. Matter of fact a second Packer defender had touched the ball more than Tate.

    At least it appears there was a silver lining.

  17. It isn’t a complete “catch/INT” until the player controls the ball & is down with it, so any defender catching that ball also allows any & all offensive players the chance to also establish simultaneous possession before the “catch” is complete.

    Ripping the ball away & to the ground or out of bounds would have been the more fundamental play. DB should have been trying to get that ball to the ground somewhere out of the endzone, preferably behind him.

  18. Given that it’s a known strategy to place other receivers nearby specifically to catch a batted ball, I do NOT fault Jennings for trying to intercept the ball.

    For all our talk about split-second timing and gut instincts, I’m happy to leave it up to a player like Jennings to make that decision.

    I’m sure he would have happily given up the interception if the official had called OPI like he should have. an OPI call would have short-circuited the whole Touchdown/Touchback issue.

    The lesson is that the greedy owners and hypocritical Player Safety Godfather Goodell put dollars before safety, and dollars before integrity.

    The lesson is that the ref lockout was a bunch of manure, and Green Bay was the last to hold the bag.

  19. You have to knock the ball down, away backwards anything but go for the interception. How many time has the worked over the times it hasn’t? My guess is a ton. M.D. Jennings messed up and is going to be the next Jerett Bush. Bench him for being an idiot.

  20. So they can knock it down like the titans did and they can catch it anyway? Or like in the jags game last year? There is nothing certain in football.. I’d think you’d want it in your possession.

  21. Knocking it down toward all the guys below him would have been a really stupid thing to do.

    Can we assume Josh has never played football in his life?

  22. Wow, this unjust call really did a number on Jennings. He needs to know he won and it will only make him stronger. Stay up Doc!

  23. Beelicker,
    You, my friend are wrong. In the endzone the player only has to show possession first. Thats even in midair. He doesn’t even need to land on his feet afterwards to show continued possession. Know your stuff before you run your mouth and look like an idiot or just learn to read. That way, you’ll know the real rules.

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