Replay review of roughing the punter could have helped 49ers


Late in the third quarter of the NFC Championship Game, 49ers punter Andy Lee was drilled in the plant leg by Seahawks safety Chris Maragos, and when the referee threw the flag it looked like San Francisco had caught a huge break: A hit to the plant leg is supposed to be roughing the punter, which is a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

But instead it was Seattle that caught a huge break: The referee called running into the kicker, which is only a five-yard penalty, which the 49ers declined. Obviously, it’s impossible to say how the rest of the game would have changed if the penalty had been correctly called as roughing, but it could have changed the outcome of the game entirely, considering that the Seahawks scored the go-ahead touchdown on the subsequent drive after the officials botched the call.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh furiously pleaded his case to the officials, but there was nothing he could do. Personal fouls are not reviewable on instant replay, so the referee’s bad call stood.

However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week in an interview on NFL Network that in the future, instant replay might be used to get personal foul calls right. Goodell was responding to a question about reviewing helmet-to-helmet hits, not roughing the kicker, but he emphasized that the league wants replay to be used to get calls right. Goodell said the Competition Committee plans to look at using replay on personal fouls this offseason.

“We want to make sure that we get it right on the field, so I believe that will be a reviewable call — I know the committee is going to study that,” Goodell said.

The whole point of instant replay is to get the calls right, and it doesn’t make sense that some obviously wrong calls are allowed to stand simply because the NFL’s rules limit the types of bad calls that coaches can challenge. Harbaugh should have been allowed to challenge the call of running into the kicker, and the NFL should change the rules so that the next coach victimized by a bad call like that can get the call reviewed.

144 responses to “Replay review of roughing the punter could have helped 49ers

  1. There seems to be a lot of effort put forth to review these wrong calls and little effort to improve officiating that’s the cause of them.

  2. I thought there was a rule for a coach running onto the field. Jim Harbaugh has made a habit of doing this constantly every game and I’ve seen only one flag against him for it.

    He literally interrupted the official on the field while announcing the call on this one.

  3. I love how every play that could have helped the miners the rule will be changed on. How about when bowman tackled Gonzalez before the ball got to him I’m the NFC champ last year. Or the horrible personal foul on Carolina last week when they hit bolding or that boldin can hit with his facemask and not he called when the Carolina corner did it he got a penalty…

  4. The reviewable/non-reviewable debate is obsucuring the bigger point : how is it that a top 3 NFL referee can’t make the difference between the left leg and the right leg of a guy standing 10 yards away.

  5. While we’re at it let’s also review the ILLEGAL clothesline hit on Jeremy Lane by one of the 49ers players (in street clothes) when he was trying to get back inbounds on a kickoff.

  6. Until the system is designed with “getting it right” being the most important objective, then all we can do is continue to complain. So which team in the Super Bowl is going to get the lucky referee x-factor in their favor? Let’s just hope it’s a small enough amount to not call into question whether we have a rightful winner. I estimate only a 25% chance of a tainted victory, don’t sweat it too much.

  7. If the 15 yard penalty is enforced…SF keeps the ball with a new set of downs. Even if SF doesn’t gain a yard and has to punt again, Seattle would not have the great field position that they had after the 1st punt. 15 yards is a huge penalty. And the non call was a game changer

  8. I don’t want to hear any crying from a team that’s gone around and bullied teams for the last 3 years.

    Forty whiners need to go and tuck their tails and likc their wounds someplace else. Sherman has had the last laugh on you guys. LOL

  9. You know what else would help the NFL?

    Removing that “not reviewable” technicality out of their damn game. The purpose of bringing technology to the game is to be better prepared to make crucial decisions on what is and what is not happening in real-time.

    There isn’t a single person watching that game who didn’t witness Navarro Bowman sacrifice his body/knee/CAREER to make a play that would have greatly helped his team and potentially changed the momentum of the game.

    But, of course, “human error” came into play. Not the kind that didn’t allow the referees to see what truly happened in replay, but the kind that put the rules of a game played by the toughest of men in the hands of white-collar suits who have never played a single down of professional football in their lives.

    The game is now over. Navarro Bowman’s effort was pissed away, as well as 2 ligaments in his knee, because billion-dollar egos don’t come with state of the art listening capabilities.

    The health and well-being of those who have fought their entire lives to play at this level are being taken for granted by the owners of the league.

    We know the franchise owners are worth light-years beyond the depth of our pockets, but this doesn’t give them the power to believe that they are emperors watching gladiators tear each other apart for their entertainment.

    Or does it?

  10. I think they should change the arbitrary rules that prevent certain things from being reviewed. If it’s a fumble awarded to San Francisco it’s reviewed but if it’s a fumble awarded to Seattle it isn’t? That makes sense. Nevertheless, the best thing they could do is find some officials who can actually get the play right in the first place.

  11. I’m positive about one thing.

    If that call had been a roughing the kicker instead of running into the kicker, Colon Kraperdick would have all of a sudden become an elite quarterback and not fumble on a sack or throw two 4th quarter interceptions.

    The Whiners were robbed…robbed I tell ya!

  12. I’m sorry I don’t see any way you can possibly say the kicker was drilled in the leg. The hawks player was mid dive to block the punt when Lee had BOTH LEGS IN THE AIR. As the Hawks player hit the ground and slid, Lee’s leg came down and contact was made. Minimal contact with some acting by Lee. Incidental contact. There shouldn’t have been any penalty called at all. This argument is beyond ridiculous. Stop whining niners fans as you continue to fall short of a Lombardi. You are becoming the NFC version of the Patriots- great team but can win it all and when they get knocked out there’s more tears and whining than anything else.

  13. The game is soo fast now.. It is very easy to miss things at full speed with the human eye. That being said I think officials in games feel pressure the same way players do. They get a little timid to make those calls in these games. I don’t think training referee’s all off-season will drastically cut down on the “bad calls” because the game is soo fast. It might however reduce the amount officials interpret the rules correctly/incorrectly.

  14. aaronfraudgers said:

    I don’t like the 49ers or Jim Harbaugh, but they got screwed by the refs in that game.


    How in the world did the refs screw the 9ers. The only thing that truly would have screwed them is the botched fumble that the 9ers recovered on the goal line, but since the Hawks fumbled the next play it’s a moot point. Perhaps roughing the kicker would have been the better call from this article, but considering the 9ers weren’t moving the ball AT ALL, all 9er fans can do is fantasize that it would have led to a touchdown. I don’t hear 9er fans talking about the play when CK fumbled and then kicked it so it rolled to one of his lineman.

    The point is there were few calls that I would have or wouldn’t have called, but nothing close to deciding the game.

  15. I don’t think this rule has been interpreted by the book all year. I, like many of you, watch a lot of football. I saw similar plays where the plant leg was bumped (not drilled) and the five yard flag came out. In fact, I don’t recall seeing one roughing call all year. I’m sure it happened, but either I didn’t see it or don’t remember it. This call is consistent with how running into the punter has been called all year.

    They should probably change the rule or enforce it as black and white, i.e. if you touch (or drill) the plant leg 15 yards.

  16. Further proof that there are way too many infractions in football. Looks like the rule book needs to be thinned out a little. I think the refs did their best work in the playoffs by reducing the amount of calls made. Nothing worse than seeing flag happy refs.

  17. @strategyexpert:

    Seattle has zero chance of winning this SB.
    It doesn’t fit the NFL mandated Peyton Manning narrative.
    Just like Ray Lewis last year.

    Sorry Hawk fans, you already lost the SB….again

  18. 619sdfan4life says:

    There were three calls that significantly change the momentum of that game that being one of them.


    Please tell us the horrendous calls that changed the direction of the game because all that is happening is a bunch of whining. I’m not a name caller, but I’m starting to think the nickname, fortywhiners, is very applicable.

  19. if the refs had gotten that call right, maybe we could hear about the game instead of 3 straight days of D!ck Sherman coverage.

  20. I don’t have a dog in this fight. But the refs made the right call. The punter was not roughed. Anyone with an honest bone their body could look at the replay and see it wasn’t roughing. End of story. The punter did what he was taught to do and that is make it look worse than it was. He barely toughed the punter.

  21. Not a fan of either SF or SEA, however I’d love to see the official NFL grading of the officials for this game.

    Just too many fingerprints on the outcome based on how virtually every questionable call went to SEA.

    Consistently inconsistent officiating is making it tough to watch the NFL.

  22. Personal foul calls should absolutely be reviewable across the board!

    I’ve been saying this for 2 years now, not just because it impacted this game, but because it impacts so many games throughout the season.

  23. The three turnovers by kaep on the last three possessions were the game changers.
    But yes, it was another bad non call. Get it right the first time,

  24. I don’t understand people who say that you can’t review everything because it would slow down the game too much.

    How is that possible? Coaches have two challenges and a third if they get the first two right, period. What does it matter what they use them on?

    The only effect it could possibly have on game time is in the final two minutes, and that would be minimal.

  25. Whining from the 49er fans not with standing.
    It does take something away from the game when they are so badly officiated.

    The NFC title game in particular was one bad or miss call after another.

    I don’t know what was worse the blown calls or Aikman and Buck harping on them.

  26. Kaepernick not turning the ball over 3 out of the last 4 drives might have helped too.

    40 Whiners stay in true form! That’s why Jim Harbaugh can’t win the big game.

  27. It’s a stupid rule to begin with, it should never be 15 yards unless its a blatant hit to the kicker, guy was going for the ball and barely touched him big deal.

    And to the point of it maybe helping the niners, well kaep coulda thrown a pick 6 as well, who knows.

  28. Let’s see what could of helped the Hawks. The bogus holding call on 3rd down against Sherman on Crabtree. 49ers scored a touchdown on that drive.

    The strip fumble on Kappy that bounced right to Goodwin and they score a touchdown on the next play.

    Let’s don’t forget the illegal clothesline hit on Jeremy Lane by some idiot 49er player in street clothes while he was trying to come back inbounds on the kickoff.

    Give it a rest. See you next year Santa Clara 49ers.

  29. The refs don’t call the play offs like they do the regular season games. By “letting them play” allows all sorts of penalties, that are not called which changes the precision & timing that we are used to seeing in the regular season. It actually makes for ugly football, no matter which teams are playing. IMO

  30. ALL calls should be challengeable. No exception. Lose the challenge, lose the time out. Limit 3 per half.

  31. First let me say that both teams in the SB earned their spot over the last 18 games. With that said, and this isnt just a statement on this years games, it seems that the officials play a larger role than they should. I am not saying poor officiating on purpose. I do not in any way believe the idea of predetermined outcomes. But as the saying goes, calls work themselves out over the course of the season, that doesnt really help if you get burned by a terrible call and your season is ended because of it.

    With that out of the way, it was easy to predict the out come of the game far before the clock ran out in both games. I wont go into a long drawn out overly dramatic post, but 1 play from each game, sums up the officiating in favor of the eventual winner. In Seattle, the play I will mention doesnt affect the outcome, it just shows how bad it can be. When Bowman got injured, it was clear as day that he had the ball in his possession, was down by contact, play over. You could see it on tv, At the time I thought it was actually 55 not 53, but the point is, it was obvious who had the ball, and yet Seattle got to keep it (only to blow it on the next play anyway). In Denver, in the first quarter, New England (in field goal range) gets called for a offensive pass interference (replay showed no contact by the offender) and it took them out of scoring range. That 3 points would have been huge. With a final margin of only 6 points (and the Pats opting to forego a chip shot field goal try later in the game) . You add that 3 and the Pats would have kicked the field goal on 4th and 2 (which ended up being a sack and no points). That one mystery PI call changed the game. 2 field goals make a big difference when the final margin was 2 field goals

    I simply hate when you watch a game, and when the game is over, you are left with the feeling that, the winning team may have been assisted by poor officiating. These are supposed to be the best officials in football???

  32. I disagree that the call was wrong. The defensive player landed on the ground beneath where the punter landed. He did not hit the plant leg, the plant leg landed on him. It was incidental contact.

  33. Might as well just make everything challengeable. I mean coaches still are limited as to how many they have and there are risks if you lose and plays will only be overturned if indisputable evidence exists anyways.

  34. I don’t care that he rolled into Lee’s plant leg, that wasn’t roughing. If your first reaction to the play isn’t shock, it should be a 5 yarder.

  35. Someone brought up the clothes hit on the sideline. Why are players allowed to run up the side line out of bounds. Once they run out (not knocked out) on their own, they should not be allowed back. Maybe a spot foul where they came back in, if they continue to play.

  36. It would have helped them just as correcting the missed calls would have helped the Panthers vs the 49ers. Or any other game this year. The forty winers can complain all they want, they got beat by the better team.

  37. So how do you define the plant leg when the leg and punter are both traveling forward. Maragos was on the ground moving forward while the punter himself was in the air traveling forward.

  38. Everything should be reviewable. That’s where we are heading.

    And by the way, I think it’s delicious that the 49er fan base has yet another game to whine and cry about instead of realizing that Kaepernick simply isn’t good enough.

  39. Can’t we just get rid of on field officials? Technology has progressed to a point where they are obsolete. Just have someone on the field blowing a whistle when the refs up stairs tell him to. The only time people on the field would need to get involved is in determining possession of the ball in a pile.

  40. I would like to think that these blown calls (the fumble at the goal line was 10X worse) are because Harbaugh complained like a little girl about the last play of last year’s Superbowl where there was no penalty.

    The refs are, in effect, saying, “You think that was bad, let me show you what it really looks like to be on the wrong end of a blown call”

    Harbaugh has all spring to think it over.

  41. Rule says that your can’t hit the planted foot, which he did, does it change that out come of the game who knows. It was hard to watch the game with the personal foul against Rogers and the no call when Wilson was in the pocket. The main reason the Niners lost though was because of the turn overs.

    I do think they are the better team and would have a better chance to beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

  42. I like how everyone keeps saying he was barely touched. If you had been watching the game, you’d have seen that his ankle was rolled up on by the defender. It’s exactly the kind of thing that the rule is there to protect against.

    And to say that the 49ers “hadn’t been able to move the ball” is ridiculous considering they had just scored a TD on the prior possession.

    Geez people are morons.

  43. I notice a lot alo of the pot calling the kettle black , from Seattle fans. I was at the game. I saw Carroll come out onto the field when a play didn’t go his way, screaming and gesturing. Seahawks fans never mention it. Carroll seems to get away with lot of crap. Coaching his DB’s to hold on almost every play is one of them. I would like to see an ability to challenge non calls too. Like when a Seahawk mugs a receiver and the refs don’t call holding or interference.

  44. but but…if Kaperdink would have been called for kicking the ball when he fumbled the Seahawks would have most likely won by more. We can do these what ifs all day!!!!

  45. Don’t act like you wouldn’t be pissed if that happened to your team. Doesn’t mean the 49ers would have won. But it was a blown call. Just going to the”whiner” thing is for the weak minded. 49ers didn’t play winning football for 60 min. End of story.

  46. Does anyone else feel like Goodell is tinkering too much with the game? No one knows the long term impact of all the changes that he has made in the last few years and the ones he is planning to make.

    Changing kick-offs certainly reduced the quality of the game.

    Getting rid of extra points (which I tend to agree with) might cost a win or two a year to some team.

    Changing hitting has already started to impact the league with more lower body injuries.

    Reducing practice means the players aren’t as ready for a physical season any more.

    Extending the playoffs could ruin the perfect format they have and reduce the value of the regular season and winning the division.

    Instant replay all over the place.

    And so on and so on.

    They are in danger of wrecking the integrity of the game forever.

  47. Harbaugh is a weasel. He just jumps and cries and complains all game long. What an idiot.

    They say that teams take on the personality of their coach – must be why the 49ers are a complete joke. Have fun sitting at home in Fresno or wherever that joke of a franchise is now.

  48. Everyone knows this was the wrong call BUT THAT IT WAS THE PROPER INTERPRETATION of the rule . The rule is in place for not smashing the punters plant leg and breaking it ..

    The rules not really targeted to players diving onto someone’s toe or the kicker stepping on the defender at the end of a kick ..

    although yes the penalty should have been 15 they should CHANGE the rule this would have been a terrible call otherwise . If you hit the punter yes . But falling at his foot or around or on his toe IS NOT A PERSONAL FOUL … It’s like comparing if you swipe to bat a pass down and your finger grazes a qb . While yes it’s a penalty ITS NOT THE THE REASON THEIR IS A
    FLAG FOR HITTING THE QB IN THE HEAD .. Many people complain about them and this is tr exact same Ticky tack scenario ..

    To niners fans you received presumably bound in that game , and the refs kissed calls on both teams . Yess bowman had the ball but thank got the next play lynch fumbled . Yes Whitner hit the TE in the head . Clear as day , one angle from behind Whitner shows a possible cheat shot . The other side SHOWS Whitner hitting the TE directly in the chin /FACEMASK .. That’s a penalty everytime and you see this when he gets a fine this week …

    Saying this one blown Ticky tack call coat sf the game ignores that Lynch NOT THE REF ran for a 50 yard touchdown . That Wilson threw that 4th down td pass not the ref..

    That Kam intercepted that pass not the ref , that avril and Bennett stripped sacked Kaep not the ref and that Richard Sherman ALTHOUGH CLEARLY getting pushed in the back by Crabtree was still able to play trough offensive Pass interference to make a play and tip the ball to his teammate … That again was not the ref..

    Wasn’t the ref when GORE ,Davis,Bolden , Crabtree ALL DID NOTHING …The niners defense played great because the niners offense was abysmal .. Until the last drive kaep didn’t have a 100 yards passing .. Yes he ran wild the first half on a couple big runs . But besides those broken pass plays that he took off and ran THE NINERS OFFENSE WAS HORRIBLE .. That was not the refs that was the sorry day by an offense. . Check the stats ..

    The right team won calls affect every single game , but playing this what if that call wasn’t made doesn’t mean the ensuing plays wouldn’t have happened under different circumstances . This is embarrassing for anything to say this play or a couple others cost a team the game .. Notice how it says Changed the game ..

    Forgetting missed calls on the niners is short sighted .. Wait til the fines come out . I hear that non call on the gunner Being closed lined on the sf sidemen is going to draw a suspension fine and or draft pick loss .. Talk about cheap or bad call . That happened your td drive by your logic I can say you would have been backed up more and never score … Sounds stupid to me.. But your logic.


  50. A league crew watches the game with a means to communicate with the head ref and buzzes him if a wrong call is made and informs him of the correct call.

    Simple solution to personal foul calls like this that doesn’t slow down the pace of games any longer with refs having to run to the sideline and watch the replay.

  51. So much for the flow of a game, or momentum, if you will eventually be able to stop action for minutes at a time, multiple times a game, while Jeff Triplette sticks his head in a bag on the sideline. Maybe Goodell wants that, so he can sell more TV ad time. So much for the folks in the stadium. I don’t like the direction the game is heading.

  52. Yeah….and imagine if Seattle could review the “Defensive Holding” against Richard Sherman on a key 3rd down stop during San Fran’s opening TD drive.

    If that gets reviewed I bet Seattle runs away with the game…

    Can’t play “what-ifs” like that. Its not good for anybody.

  53. I don’t care for Harbaugh or the 49’ers but they got screwed royally in that game. Don’t forget, Seattles first FG was the result of a terrible call of unsportsman conduct that kept Seattle drive going. It was 3rd down, SF LB’er hit WR shoulder pad to shoulder pad and official called it helmet to helmet which replays clearly showed it wasn’t. Seattle would’ve had to punt but got automatic first down and went on to score a FG. The roughing the kicker non-call was huge, led to seattle TD and then the Bowman recovery of a fumble. Coaches should be able to challenge ANY call or play. It may slow down the game but the important thing is to get the call right and I don’t care which teams are playing. I love football but nothing is more frustrating than to see officials make mistakes and determine the outcome of a game.

  54. Yooperman dude their is a penalty for running out of bounds on the sideline .. If the gunner runs out for no reason yes flag . But the defender pushes him out of bounds and he’s allowed to travel and come back in bounds within a reasonable amount of time ..

    This was a clear flag and I hear the guy will he fined and the team possibly lose a draft pick . No room for that crap that unsuspecting contact is what gets playing hurt badly …

  55. The integrity of the game is being jeopardized by not employing full-time officials. If these officials have other jobs that would interfere with this 40-hour work week, then let them get on with their life’s work and leave the NFL. There is ambiguity regarding what is reviewable on the field. There are interpretations to rules that are inconsistent. A year-round classroom curriculum would help solve these problems. We can’t go to the replay booth on EVERY play because the games would last 6 hours.

  56. Every play and call should be reviewable With no limits on the number of challenges. I’d rather see the game called perfectly than to have the current system where winning the ref game is more important than beating your opponent. What’s the worst that could happen? The games could take an extra hour? Yay! More football. Win win all around IMO

    At the least test this out In the preseason.

  57. I remember watching football when there were 2 camera angles because there were only 2 cameras. Now there are how many cameras? One official has one angle on the play and there are 6 different camera angles of the same play. We get to see what the refs cannot, so the refs are horrible? Ridiculous.

    Stop showing replays and saying how the refs got it wrong. The NFL has rights to the material and should tell the announcers to stop harping on the refs when the announcers have 5 or 6 differnt views of a play in super slow motion and the ref has to make the call in real time when it happens.

    I am sick of all the whining about the officials. they do a great job most of the time. They can’t see everything that the camera can see. The day we start seeing penalties come from a group of people in a trailer that is in the parking lot.. well, that is the day that the NFL will start to spiral down.

  58. Harbaugh is the boy who cried wolf. He’s cried so many times for ticky tack calls that refs have tuned him out when he has a legitimate gripe.

    Like his flat brimmed, arm kissing qb, he too needs to mature or else he’ll continually get beaten by the upper echelon coaches (not that Carroll is one of them….he’s a whole another brand of awful).

  59. what is wrong with seahawk players/fans? On one hand they like to say “we’re the greatest!!!” and the other “you are chokers, mediocre, etc!!”. Well, which is it? You are a great team because you beat a very strong challenger, or you are an ok team who beat an opponent who isn’t very good?


  60. Seahawks got all the calls but regardless the 49ers should have won if Kap makes a better read on the last play. Did you see how classless their fans are when they were throwing popcorn at Bowman on the way to the tunnel?

  61. The officiating crew was the 13th man. I have no interest in either of these teams and I’ve never seen a game where so many bad calls (or in the case of intentional grounding, bad non-calls) consistently went against one team. Niners fans have every right to be furious.

  62. Rooted for the Hawks, but the call was wrong and shouldn’t have needed a replay. The rules are clear, and there’s no way that the officials saw it differently.

    Excited for a lame Dean Blandino rationale public statement full of bald face lies.

  63. There were many calls that went wrong. Like the mugging of Jeremy Lane by an SF employee along the sidelines during a punt return…..what’s your point?

  64. Wrong team in the SB, but it won’t matter.

    Seahawks leave embarrassed with an 0-2 SB record. Leaving no doubt they didn’t belong there.

  65. Only naive Seahawk homers can’t admit that bad calls didn’t affect the outcome of the game.

    The go ahead touchdown was scored on a possession that was handed to the Seahawks by a horrible call.

    Keep pointing out all the turnovers, I’m sure the 49ers would have thrown a last second interception in the endzone if they were up 10 points.

    The point is we don’t know what would have happened if the referees had been even competent in that game, their calls were bent so far towards the Seahawks that nobody outside of Seattle thinks the outcome wasn’t tainted.

  66. Look all you children who think us Niner fans are whining need to get a grip…The Hawks won the game they made plays we didn’t no problem there.

    What all fans ( I believe) are saying the point of replay is to get the call RIGHT so it does not reward the wrong team based on the rules of the game. Remove the technicalities on what you can review and get the calls right and we are good.

    Oh yea and all Seahawk fans in time I suspect you will learn to be gracious winners I realize this is very new to you……the childish comments make you look bush league. Good luck in the SB

  67. While the rules committee is at it, have them make it a penalty for teams like the Shehawks to pipe in crowd noise over their PA during the game. I’m all for letting home crowds make legitimate noise from their fans but adding to it with fake, piped in noise is just wrong. Where do you draw the line? Is it okay for every fan to blow a whistle after every play?

  68. The Packers have been accused of being soft, so the Players and Coaches are taking steps to change that image….
    The 49ers are considered whiners by every team in the league, dont you think they would try changing that image??

  69. Your not even talking about the fumble/non-fumble call at the goal line when Bowman stripped the ball. The refs got that call wrong as Bowman clearly had possession and was down by contact. The Seahawks then come in very late and hit Bowman while he’s already down. How that was not a 49er ball and a personal foul for a late hit on a defenseless player I will never know.

  70. I’m no fan of either team but that game was officiated like the replacement refs game with the Seahags v. Cheeseheads.

    That was an OBVIOUS call that was missed but that game was filled with obvious no calls against the Seahags.

  71. I said at the time, and after just watching the video again, will say that Harbaugh should have challenged that the ruling was a fumble. Bowman actualy intercepted the ball as the receiver never gained control and the ball never touched the ground. Had Harbaugh made that argument the play would have been reviewable. Not that the call in queston had an actual impact, but no one could know Seattle would fumble on the next play – so hindsight bias shouldn’t be involved in how the play in question went down.

    I choose not to watchthe video too closely repeatedly because of the injury, but when you see it even at full speed, you can see the receiver juggling it and Bowman taking it from him. The receiver never gained what could reasonably be called possession under the current rule.

    It’s sad I have to actually state this, because it has nothing to do with the argument I make, I HATE the forty-whiners.

  72. I’m not a fan or hater of the 9ers or hawks. I didn’t care which team won or lost. I just wanted to see a great championship game. I was hoping for one that wasn’t decided in any way by the refs. As a neutral football fan, I absolutely believe the refs swayed the outcome of that game. Not saying the 9ers would have won, but they did help the hawks with horrible officiating.

    I felt for the hawks fans in the SB loss against the Steelers. I agreed with them when they complained as an entire fan base about the horrendous officiating in that game that helped the Steelers win.

    I find it interesting that probably all the same fans I agreed with then about bad officiating are calling 9ers fans a bunch of whiners for doing what they did themselves 7 years ago.

  73. I’m all for getting every play called correctly. Every team in the league has been screwed over at one time or another. Let the play on the field determine the winner. But until the rules get changed…..go away and live with it…… like every team before you has had to do.

  74. And another thing…if you’re looking for “if only’s?”…if only Micah Hyde could hang onto the damn ball, San Francisco would not have had to worry about advancing beyond Green Bay. It’s tough all over.

  75. Some of you have no reading comprehension at all. The article is simply saying the outcome of the game MAY have been changed if the game was officiated correctly on a very simple, black or white call that was 100% incorrect. Yes there were other bad calls too, but this one was so obvious and it clearly cost the Niners possession of the ball of a game they were winning at the time. Seattle scored a TD on the next drive, and they MAY not have if the game was officiated correctly. How exactly is mentioning this whining? Saying it surely cost the Niners would be whining. Saying the reviewing the play and getting it right probably would have helped the Niners (and POSSIBLY made it so that they didn’t have to throw and therefore commit 3 turnovers in the 4th qtr) is simply a fact. That’s the point – we’ll never know how different the outcome would have been, but we do know it compromised how it would have ideally played out.

    And Seattle fans (or fans of any team for that matter) are KIDDING themselves if this exact same thing happens to them (in a one possession game no less) if they claim they wouldn’t “whine” about it.

  76. Yep, I remember the SB loss as well, and Hawk fan lost over the officiating. Let’s face it fans, it just depends who you’re routing for. Can we at least agree to take it out of the zebras hands and give them the tools to get it right?? …..Hawks are in, 9ers are not. That simple. Let’s just hope refs don’t cost Hawks the SB… Imagine the river of tears the rest of the league will be crying. #shermanroidrage

  77. its funny how Seahawks fans are like what’s the big deal, quit crying. while for years they’ve been crying about how the refs screwed them out of their super bowl. I’m so tired of these bandwagon twelfth man wannabes. I can’t wait for Peyton to do his thing.

  78. Replay of Kaperalphabet kicking the ball on his fumble would have helped the Seahawks…. as would replay of the gunner getting pushed out of bounds on the 9ers sideline, then getting clotheslined, would have helped the Seahawks… we can go on and on and on…. Kaperalphabet could have won the game on that last drive but threw a pic…. woulda…. shoulda….. coulda….

  79. Where’s the article about Kap purposely kicking his dropped fumble that was absolutely going to be recovered by seattle? Just face it 49ers, everybody on your team except Kap was shut down and that the seahawks had like 10 more explosive plays. The 49ers only big play was Kaps run which only happened because of the holding call on Sherman that gave the 9ers a new set of downs & Kap broke free 2 plays later. Seattle had at least 10 more similar game changing plays

  80. Stop it! Please! Im surprized you cant hear the whiner fans whining all the way across the Country. Please stop feuling the whining!

  81. Harbaugh is going to run out of challenges in the first five minutes of the game if you’re able to challenge all these “penalties”!!!

  82. Here’s the solution: get rid of the subjective running into/roughing variation and split the yardage difference. If an opposing player so much as TOUCHES a punter, unless he is pushed/blocked into him by a member of the kicking team, make it a 10-yard penalty.

    You’re welcome.

  83. Can you imagine what Pete Carroll would have done if this happened to his team?

    15 yards + 1st down would’ve been crazy in that situation. Might pass the law test, but not the eye test.

    Automatic 1st down plays need to stop. Little hold on a 3rd & 20 pass play = 1st down. Little bump on a plant foot on 4th & 20 = 1st down. I’m all about giving yardage, but not automatic 1st downs.

    Plus, NFL needs to make EVERY play reviewable. No more legalese loopholes.

  84. The 49ers didn’t lose this game because of this call or any other. They lost because they were exposed. Their average secondary was exposed for being what it is and Kap was exposed for not being a very accurate QB which he isn’t. The Seahawks blitzed ZERO times in this game because they believed, correctly, that Kap would fail when pressed into staying in the pocket and being forced to throw. Kap may be talented and may yet win a SB, but he’s got to improve his accuracy for that to happen. Right now, he’s just not good enough and neither is the Niners secondary.

  85. They should also allow reviews of plays like when Kaep kicked the ball to prevent his fumble from being recovered by the Seahawks.

  86. this is Peyton’s year. whether he outright beats the ‘gulls or not, the game will be guided to that conclusion. Dicky Sherm’s humble pie is coming sooner rather than later.

  87. They should expand use of replay, but put a hard limit. Make it 5 challenges with a challenge returned if correct. NO AUTOMATIC REVIEWS which slow down the game(though automatic reviews be done unofficially in case a challenge is made and a quick review can be done). Designate only one challenge as whatever it takes to get the call right time limit. The other challenges should be reviewed within 2 min and that’s it. It should be upto the coach to burn a timeout to challenge the play. If you have no timeouts left, a losing challenge will result in a 5 yard delay of game penalty or 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty depending on how frivolous the replay challenge was.

    Let the coach challenge anything. With a max limit of reviews, he will be more careful.

  88. Billicheck and pats fans are going to be so pissed if they start reviewing pass interference calls.

  89. Why have officials on the field at all? Just make all the calls from the replay booth. I guess they need a couple of officials, anyway…to spot the ball when they get word from the replay booth and so forth…and also to call TV timeouts.

  90. So you get a roughing (although the rule says coming down on the rusher is running into not roughing) and we get additional turnovers both when Map kicked the ball away from the d-line AND when Lane got decked out of bounds on the dropped punt which was why he was late to recover.


  91. Oh great. Welcome to the Rog’s rigged NFL. Games commence at 1, last till 7, with only one hour of actual gameplay.

    The other 5 hours are reviewed replays and commercials to line Rog’s pockets.

    This is swiftly becoming unwatchable.

  92. What is so amazing is how Seahawk fans are still bitter about & complain about the horrible officiating in their Super Bowl against the Steelers almost a decade ago but they call Niners fans Whiners over missed or bad officiating that happened only a few days ago or earlier this season..I don’t have to refer to them as She Hawks fans or any other nickname. I just refer to those who do as what they are ..hypocrites..

    1st of all the Niners had their opportunities to win the game but to act like the officiating had no impact on the game is nothing short of denial. Rather Seahawk fans like it or not there are rules to which all players & all teams are supposed to abide by. Even though the league has a rule that prohibits contacting receivers beyond 5yrds they still do it & get away with it so it’s up to other teams to adapt & play their receivers the same way. But the rule book clearly states that contact to the plant leg of a kicker is a 15yrd penalty. It doesn’t matter about momentum or any other excuse that is the rule & for anybody saying that it wasn’t a penalty go look at the replay. His ankle is clearly rolled over in a way that could’ve resulted in a serious injury. That is the reason for the rule & for the morons saying that the kicker kept coming forward as if he was supposed to stop please explain how you stop in midair? The kicking motion is going to cause forward motion..If the penalty is enforced properly it doesn’t mean that SF scores but it does change field position in a game in which neither team was driving the ball the length of the field with ease. Instead Seattle ends up with a short field & a touchdown.

    2n…The personal foul called on Carlos Rogers right before halftime. Another blown call that effectively changed field position. .The Niners had just gotten a fourth down stop with the ball near midfield. They have an excellent kicker in Phil Dawson & because of the strength of Kaepernick arm Seattles defense would have had to play the whole field. SF may have been able to pick up enough yards to give their kicker a shot a fg attempt. No one can say for sure what would have happened but what we do no is because of a horrible call they weren’t given a chance & due to what happened in this very game with Seattle scoring on a 4th & 7 you can’t say what isn’t possible.

    3rd..The personal foul penalty on Whitner when he clearly led with his shoulder & hit the shoulder pad of the TE. This play not only was called wrong but it negated a 3rd down stop & not only changed field position & led to a fg for Seattle

    Finally the play involving Bowman who clearly had the ball as he went to ground..

    As an official they’re’re going to have bad games & blown calls & as long as they call it evenly for both sides you can accept it but you can’t have every blown call especially the big penalties such as personal fouls all be called wrongfully in the favor of one team & then be considered credible. 3 calls Sunday that weren’t even questionable cost the Niners roughly 40 yards or a little less than half the field in field position & let directly to 13pts by Seattle in a game they won by 6. To say that the Niners wouldn’t have turned the ball over 3 times in the 4qtr who knows but there is no way that you can say that the ref’s didn’t have a direct impact on the game & that definitely needs to get fixed in the offseason. .

  93. I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but the NFL can fix this easily by allowing coaches to challenge any call. Coaches only get 2 red flags per game so it’s not like the rule change would slow down the game significantly. The current cryptic set of rules about what can or cannot be challenged needs to get removed.

  94. Break out the Dez Bryant autographed tissues, Dallas probably has a ready supply to send you crybabies. The 40whiners are on a roll – again… boo hoo… sniff…

  95. Pretty much dislike both teams, so pull for the one I hate less and they get screwed by bad officiating, and yet another half dozen players drug off the field maimed or woozy despite all the efforts to make the game safer. At least Rollerball had a purpose and point. This NFL is supposed to be “entertainment”. I don’t find much entertaining in football anymore.

  96. Instant replay and coaches challenges are a flat out admission by the league that human error is a factor and that mistakes are made. With this being true, every call should be allowed to be either challenged or reviewed. You can’t admit the facts that mistakes are being made but some calls on the field have to stand no matter what.

  97. “DRILLED” thats funny…by the way he hit his shoe. or should i sal Lee his that guys hand as he was there laying doing nothing….Get real, niners got beat…it really is that plain and simple….move on

  98. Its funny how every time some one writes an article about a penalty in a niners game that was called wrong were winers but its okay if its about any other team………just proves how good we are it takes the best to have haters anytime your name is mentioned…… a niners fan and I dont blame the call the first possession should have gotten a td not a fg and three turnovers in a game like that is guaranteed to lose in the end but we will be back and ready next year atleast it wasnt a blow out again

  99. Drilled??? If the penalty had been correctly called as roughing??? You have got to be kidding. You and Joe Buck are the only people who saw that. Maragos hit the ground and slid into Lee. Barely any contact. As soon as Lee kicked it,Buck said, “Lee is hit, and hit hard.” I immediately started yelling at my TV. That was one of the most obvious kicker flops of al time.

    Just about all of the kickers and punters in the NFL are nothing more than unemployed soccer players, and the flopping they do looks just like theflopping you see in a World Cup match. The refs saw through Lee’s flop and correctly called in running into and not roughing.

  100. The punter came down on the defender. The RULE SAYS if the punter lands on the defender it’s running into. That’s the rule and why it was called.

    The PF were both reviewed by the league and called legit. You can’t go for the head if a defenseless receiver with head, shoulder or forearm.

    The Bowman call was wrong but you got the ball back the next play and in much better field position. Should you have been awarded two turnovers?

    Why are SF fans ignoring Kap kicking his fumble or Lane getting decked out if bounds negating TWO potential TO?

    To compare this to the SB fiasco is a joke. Unlike the SB SF had nothing but Kaps legs and those only in the first half. You were outscored 20-7 in the second half.

  101. In a game where 1 or 2 plays were the difference, this bad call could have been costly, but who knows? Fact is, none of the calls directly affected the game. The Niners still had a chance to win the game in the end, but as in the last super bowl, they lost to a team that made one more big play than them. It’s becoming clear that Kaep’s learning curb is a little behind the rest of his team’s and he needs to mature and see the big picture. Comes with experience. He’ll have a chance to be an elite QB one day. Crab still hasn’t emerged as a true #1. That’s what they need. And a shut down corner, and they’ll be good for a few more years with this core group. Here’s to Bowman making a full recovery and getting back to 100%.

    Go Niners!!!

  102. realitycheckbaby….

    “The punter came down on the defender.”

    No, he did not. His plant leg was fully planted in the turf, hence the twisted ankle. Watch it again.

  103. A film clip of the play would have been informative since so many people saw entirely different things. Personally I believe the call would have been upheld on review, since I remember the rusher seeming to try to quit sliding and stay flat and still to avoid contact. The kicker seemed to make a minute hop to make contact with his plant foot to the side of the rusher and draw the roughing with an exaggerated flop. If rusher initiated the contact with the plant foot, or slid under leaving the kicker no place to land–it would be roughing, but that’s not what I saw.

  104. Any reason the normally vigilant Seahawk fans are not losing their you-know-what over this and the other blatant bad call? I mean, it’s taken them 8 years to get over their Superbowl XL loss at the hands of (they claim) BAD CALLS. Somehow that morphs into their cute li’l moniker “Forty Whiners,” but when the cleat is on the other foot? Not so much!

    Instead, they will go after the (completely meaningless) sideline hit, which would not have changed the game at all. Compare that to this possession call and the fumble recovery that also was missed, and we have …

    Sore winners.

  105. Kicker lands on the Seahawk with his planting foot and rolls his ankle. Letter of the law call is missed…Whiner fans go berserk and claim it’s the worst refereed game since…2005 Super Bowl…?

  106. You know, why do 90% of Hawk fans always have to curse to communicate ? Calling names,referring weird sexual orientation.There is a culture surrounding this team that really is classless. You guys have a great team. Enjoy it and grow up. Just like Sherman and some other Hawks players, it’s not good enough to win but humiliation is the added bonus to you. Culture is always set by an organizations leaders. Sherman, Carol, Tate. Thank God , Wilson is a great dude. Really a pro. He’s great and classy. See Seattle, it can be done.

  107. Ref questionable calls are part of most games. You can hardly ever say a game is won or lost because of a call. Not the refs fault the 49ers couldn’t run or they threw a contested pick on first down in the red zone. People who think that way likely are used to playing the victim there whole lives.

  108. This may be boarder line conspiracy theory but why aren’t all plays reviewable?
    If the coach thinks the call was wrong and wants to spend a challenge then why not?
    Is it suspicious that the refs can wait for certain plays to happen and then throw a flag that cannot be challenged and can decide or seriously influence the game?
    Ref scandals have happened in other major sporting events but can’t happen in the NFL?
    Why does the biggest revenue (and gambling) sport have part time refs that sell insurance for a living?
    Maybe its just the world we live in but some serious stink is on the NFL shield Mr. Integrity of the Game Goodell.

  109. If you suspect wrong you review it. Wether you play tackle on Sat afternoon at the field w/friends or on any Sunday. Wether my new brakes shudder, you review it. Wether sink pipes are noisy you review. If you don’t care about integrity then I’ll just consider the source of a lesser who likes it gotten cheaply. If you suspect it wrong, review it to get it right. We all want it that way, shouldn’t matter who its for. It’s passing ignorance to limit reviews. If you can’t fire the mechanic or ref, at least have chance to make it right by reviewing WHEN it’s needed. Whole NFL incl the tops refs especially are to blame for a dumb rule they don’t apply in their and 22 other careers as much as they do their own 1 cars or a $100 kitchen sink. Man up.

  110. Refs make mistakes: off sides missed, jersey grab missed, etc BUT a significant error by a ref results in change of possession. There were THREE in this game. (1) The punt, when Lee had his plant foot angle rolled up. 15 yards, new set of downs. (2) Bowman’s fumble recovery. (3) The “helmet -to-helmet personal foul” on a third and long for the Seahawks. After that obvious ref error ( it was clearly shoulder to shoulder) Seahawks do not punt and keep the ball.
    Therefore, three times the Seahawks get the ball, the 49ers lose three possessions. Three turnovers by the refs. I would like the 49ers chances with the Seahawks with three fewer possessions and the 49ers with three more.

  111. 90% of the people arguing for the Seahawks must be severely nearsighted or watching a different game.

    “The punter landed on the seahwaks defender?”


  112. OK, watched it several times.

    Punter’s plant foot landed on the hand / wrist of the rusher but then the rusher’s shoulder hit the plant foot as he slid forward.

    Probably should have been personal foul.

  113. Watching again now, as a hawks fan the refs sucked all game. The td drive in the first half should have never happened for the 49ers after a garbage hold call on Sherman. Call it even. Kaep lost the game for the 9ers.

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