NFL says Hochuli got 49ers roughing the passer call wrong


A huge call went against the 49ers in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks when linebacker Nick Moody was penalized for roughing the passer for hitting Russell Wilson. Now the NFL has admitted that call was wrong.

NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino admitted in an appearance on NFL Network this morning that referee Ed Hochuli should not have thrown the flag on Moody.

“It’s close, but when you look at it on tape, Moody’s head is up, he hits with more the side or the facemask to the body of the quarterback. So in our review, with the ability to look at it in slow motion, it is not a foul,” Blandino said.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game that he thought Hochuli made a bad call, but Hochuli stood by his decision, saying that Moody led with the crown of his helmet.

“I felt that he hit the quarterback in the chest with the hairline, and that’s a foul unless he has his face completely up and would hit it face on with the facemask. It’s a foul, and that’s why I called it,” Hochuli said. “I felt that he hit him with the hairline. The facemask, after you hit him, the facemask comes up. But the first thing that hit him was the hairline of the helmet. . . . That is still a foul when you hit the quarterback with that part of your head.”

Hochuli appeared to be in a bad position to make the call because Wilson’s body was blocking Hochuli’s view of Moody, making it hard for Hochuli to see whether Moody was leading with the crown of his helmet. Blandino acknowledged Hochuli’s view may have been obscured.

“Certainly, if he doesn’t see the whole action we don’t want him to throw the flag, and Ed was getting into position, and he saw him — or what he thought he saw, ducking the head and making the contact. He wouldn’t throw the flag if he didn’t see it, but it obviously happened quick at full speed, and he didn’t have the benefit of the slow-motion replay that we all do after the fact,” Blandino said.

Wilson threw incomplete on the play, which was a third down, so the Seahawks would have had to settle for a field goal attempt on the next play. Instead, the Seahawks got an automatic first down and scored a touchdown two plays later, effectively sealing the win. It was a costly call for the 49ers, and the wrong call according to the NFL.

175 responses to “NFL says Hochuli got 49ers roughing the passer call wrong

  1. Start paying the officials more and then fine them for poor calls. There needs to be some deterrent, just like the defensive players get fined for illegal hits.

    Just a thought.

  2. But they also said not to worry cause he’ll be back at it this weekend and every weekend for the foreseeable future to blow more calls.

  3. That call was huge! If it hadn’t been made, the final score would have been 13-7 instead of 17-7.

    Give me a break. The bad calls have been running about 7-1 against the Seahawks this year. It’s about time they got a break their way for once.

  4. Too many officials (not singling out Hochuli, applies to a bunch) seem to think the game is about them throwing as many flags as possible on even marginal rule violations. We saw another one in the Dallas/Phila game on a holding call where the DL lost his footing. The officials need a change of mindset to let the game be played and call only clear rule violations.

  5. One of a thousand horrible calls this weekend. Its getting hard to watch, and most of my circle of football fans agree. And we cant help but think maybe the NFL is using these new rules to control outcomes. Especially as we are finding out just how much integrity the NFL and Goodell have…

  6. Teams should have some recourse for bad calls like this, other than an admission or apology after the fact from the NFL. The Steelers were penalized for a hit just like this by Jason Worilds on Matt Ryan, which led to a first down and Atlanta TD a few plays later. Fortunately for the Steelers,the bad call didn’t affect the final outcome. For the 49er’s, it almost certainly did…

  7. Week 15 NFL officiating ineptitude power rankings

    5. Walt Coleman
    4. Dean Blandino
    3. Any 2013 replacement ref
    2. Jerome Boger
    1. Ed Hochuli

  8. Gee, what a surprise. The only thing that is truly surprising is the NFL admitting got it wrong. Nfl is like our government, too many cooks, too many things to please, and all while doing the wrong thing.

  9. The refs seem to be in the mode of “when in doubt, call it”, when they should be working with the exact opposite point of view. If they’re not positive they saw a foul, they shouldn’t throw the flag. No way should personal fouls and first downs be granted because something *might* have been illegal.

  10. It was a terrible call, but it had next to no effect on the game. Whether it would have been 13-7 or 17-7, the niners couldn’t move the ball on offense. Sorry niners.

  11. The NFL has become a flag football league. They have neutered the defense because they want a lot of points scored. They have also made the lives of officials impossible because the rules are very subjective and are not easy to interpret specially at full speed.

  12. we are getting to a point where the coaches need 10 challenges per game and will have to throw challenge flags on everything from horrible personal foul calls to horrible pass interference calls. The NFL really needs to sit down and have the refs let the players decide the game as a lot of these games are being swayed by horrible officiating and senseless flags. I am getting sick of watching week after week teams getting shafted by the refs and losing because of that. NFL needs to wake up as the fans are sick of it.

  13. Another terrible call in a critical game against the seahawks in seattle that ended the 49ers season, except this year it happened a month earlier. Way to go refs!

  14. He may have gotten the call wrong but wow, what a great on-field explanation. It’s a shame these boring football games keep getting in the way of prolific orators like Ed Hochuli. I wonder if he was signing 8×10 glossies after the game. What a star.

  15. This league is becoming a joke, they only care about the health of the top tier QB’s and a few WR’s. They all know they are playing football and have pads. Rename it the NPL, and I know you can figure out what the “P” stands for.

  16. The capper to a perfect storm of injuries and bad calls and media and coaching drama that derailed our season. Next year people, Niners back with a vengeance,fully healthy and no suspensions. With or without Harbaugh!

  17. I was opposed to subjecting more plays to video review because the game is already delayed too long because of replays. But this may be the worst season of officiating I have ever seen.

  18. My guy feeling on reading this is that the NFL purposely chose a Hochuli call for Blandino to say was wrong since Hochuli usually seems to be one of the better and more respected refs. That way Blandino can show he’s willing to disagree with bad calls while still being able to defend Triplett and the crapier refs when needed.


  19. The 49ers still only had 67 yards in the second half, total, and scored 10 whole points in 8 quarters against Seattle this year. So I’m not sure that call was really any kind of factor.

  20. Doesn’t matter now. Our season is over and we only have ourselves to blame. Should have beat the Bears, Cardinals, Rams, and Raiders. Yesterday felt like the first time the team played with real urgency. Hopefully Harbaugh comes back and we are reloaded with a healthy team and impact draft pieces. Future is still bright despite a down year. You can say next man up until you are blue, but it is hard to replace 3 of the best defenders in the league in Aldon, Patrick, and Bowman.

  21. The nfl this year in an ABSOLUTE CIRCUS

    between the off field issues ALL YEAR and the ridicilous amount of flags i dont even care to watch nfl outside of bets i make, and i havnt been to a game in 6+ years and refuse to until changes are made.

    its sickening to have to watch a game and feel like a flags there every play and more times than not..there is.

    i havnt watched a single TNF game all year, watched maybe 4 MNF games and i used to be a die hard nfl fan

    cuban was right nfl is going downhill..if i feel this way knowing how big a fan i was i can only imagine hwo others feel..if not for fantasy football and $$ i wouldnt even waste my time anymore.

  22. By the way. The NFL has no problem admitting bad calls. But they also have no problem calling these. You might as well get used to it. You get sued enough and you would rather throw a flag for a non-foul than not throw one on a foul.
    These ARE THE BEST OFFICIALS. Try it sometime. Its a lot easier from your coach eating your 3rd box of donuts and watching super slo mo replays.

  23. Was it a bad call?


    Would it have changed the verdict of the game?


    Would it have made the game more interesting?



    Seahawks Fan.

  24. Also this call just evened things up with the inexplicable pass interference no-call earlier in the game. But lets not mention that – today is a day of sympathy and mourning for the whiners.

  25. Miserable call. NFL did itself no favors even pretending like this was a close or tough decision. Replay should be allowed on some of these.

  26. One of the worst calls I’ve seen in a long time. If this were reviewable and Harbaugh had challeneged, it would have taken 10 minutes because, as you can tell by Bicepts Ed’s response, he would have wanted to uphold the call and the NY review center would have had to argue him down. That’s my only worry about expanding replay, that it will lead to 4-hour games. But better a 4-hour game with bad calls being rare than this mess we have now. Have you noticed that EVERY incomplete pass in EVERY game results in the intended receiver getting up expecting a flag and waving for it, like it’s his God-given right to expect a flag for every ball he doesn’t catch? This has to be adjusted.

  27. imagine that, seahawks getting away with bad calls. Has there every been a team that has gotten away with calls and no calls as much as the hawks?

  28. Niners fan here. I don’t specifically blame Hochuli but put the blame squarely on Goodell and his merry band of lawyers who now run the league. There is a desperate bid to protect the QBs at all costs even if it means being a Conservative and throwing flags left and right and then maybe admitting fault much later after the damage has been done. It puts players, especially defenders, in a terrible position to not tackle QBs and risk a) neck injuries and/or b) letting them gain more yards.

  29. Officials should be fined for making blatantly wrong calls.

    Let the league review the foul and if they find it’s wrong, fine the officials.

    49ers fans have a legitimate reason to be upset about that penalty, because it would have given the 49ers a chance…

    BUT, 49ers fans need to also admit that at that point of the game, the 49ers offense had done almost nothing outside of that one TD. AND, with Kaepernick having thrown ZERO 4th QTR TDs, their chances were slim at best…. but a chance they had.

  30. the call did not cost sf the game but it was a terrible call none the less. The officiating cotininues to get worse and worse each year the game in becoming unwatchable.

  31. The prior commentor had it right. If you have certainty, throw the flag. If you have an obstructed view or are not sure, keep the flag in your pocket.

    I am not one of the usual “all the calls are wrong types” but my sense is some calls are made because the hit was too hard. Eventually, everyone gets stuck really well. They aren’t all fouls.

    It just seems in game changing moments, penalties need to be clear. None of this “I think I saw…” crap. Know for sure what you saw. Not just this game…every game.

  32. “Start paying the officials more and then fine them for poor calls”

    The officials just got a large raise and much improved benefits for their part time job. Start fining them now.

    The league desperately needs to get over the cost and have full time refs. During the week while the teams are practicing, the refs should be on conference calls collectively reviewing every game of the previous week, every call, every non-call, and doing everything they can to create consistency between crews and improve on what they do.

  33. Ho-Hum, this is just another one of the NFL’s cheating to keep pushing the Seattle in the hunt for TV ratings as the NFL is known to do.

    Now they will have the heightened interest in the Cards vs. Seahawks game this Sunday night.

    These refs cheat for the team the NFL always want to win, that is why the chosen teams always get their calls and keep winning while other teams keep having losing records year after year.

    Oh yeah, do not think for one minute that the NFL want the Cards to win and go to the Super Bowl as that would cut into the hype and tourist dollars. Besides, the NFL has always pegged the Cards to be a bottom tier team and that is they still get bad calls against them and none against their opponents. Just remember then the Cards last went to the Super Bowl and the NFL was embarrassed by their presence until after they lost to their chosen favorite with bad calls in favor of the Steelers (they can’t seem to win without help from the officials, can’t they?) to make the NFL hierarchy happy and satisfied. Same thing is going on this year, especially with the hype of how the sub .500 Rams were going to beat the 10-3 Cards.

  34. I honestly don’t see why they can’t replay penalties as well as other challengable offenses.

    Most won’t be overturned…. however, this one yesterday most certainly would have.

    It was one of the worst calls I’ve seen all year, if not the worst.

  35. Absolutely ridiculous penalty. I’m a Patriots fan, but bias has nothing to do with this comment. Go with Belichicks idea and make EVERY play reviewable. Coaches Would still get the same amount of challenges, but they Could challenge ANY play they choose. While I’m at it though, I think the challenge rules, as they are right now, make no sense. Even if a coach gets all of his challenges right, including the extra one for getting the first two right, he’s STILL out of challenges! Why should the coach be penalized for the refs repeatedly making bad calls? If the coach challenges twice and gets them both wrong, everything remains the same, he’s out of challenges and loses two timeouts. But as long as he keeps getting them right, he should get UNLIMITED challenges until such time as he gets two wrong.

  36. The exact same thing happened in the Falcon-Steelers game. Matty Whine was the benefit of that ridiculous call. The NFL needs to make these calls reviewable. It’s costing teams wins and rewarding the whiners.

  37. You know how you can tell a referee did a great job? He completes the game unnoticed. Someone needs to remind these guys of that. Hochuli seems to crave the attention and takes as long as possible explaining his decisions.

  38. Same thing as last week with PATRIOTS/Browner….cost them a TD, and on Monday,,oooops we screwed up again…BB of the PATS insisted (correctly) that you should be able to use one of your two challenges on something like that,,,,NOPE,,wouldn’t hear of it.. no extra challenges,,,keep the same #,,,,just like this week was a pivotal play,,,

  39. leftlaneisforpassingonly says: Dec 15, 2014 10:08 AM

    The refs seem to be in the mode of “when in doubt, call it”, when they should be working with the exact opposite point of view. If they’re not positive they saw a foul, they shouldn’t throw the flag. No way should personal fouls and first downs be granted because something *might* have been illegal.
    It certainly was a bad call. This can be blamed on the league office when they told the refs a few years ago to start enforcing the rules as they are written. Every game there are few crappy calls because, when in doubt, they throw the flag. Just as the league mandated.

  40. Does anyone doubt that Hochuli likes the face time on camera a little more than most refs? Any chance he gets to throw a flag, whether the play merits it or not, he’s throwing that flag and turning on his mic. He used to (or still does, I don’t know) ref Big 12 games and the announcers would almost groan when he made a call. He clearly thinks viewers need a little more Ed Hochuli in their living rooms.

  41. Just another reason that penalties should be reviewable, and reviews should happen like in the NHL. The referee on the field should not be reviewing calls/plays. As much as the ref can attempt to be objective and professional, it’s human nature to not want to admit being wrong. On top of that, having the guy run into a little tent on the sideline is a complete waist of time. Help out the refs on the field and start getting these calls right. The technology is there. Use it.

  42. Why not make everything reviewable? I’d rather have the game last 3-4 minutes longer than to question if a call decided a game. Give each team one more challenge…and allow them to challenge anything. What could it possible hurt? Refs are mandated to call penalties in an effort to reduce concussions and player injuries…so they are going to error on the side of caution.

  43. The NFL is walking a thin line here. They are stripping way too much out of the game that become so popular for a lot of the things they are trying to remove. Imagine watching a boxing match where only body shots were allowed.

    This NBA-like inconsistency with calls is the topic of conversation every week and is hurting their brand more than a lawsuit of disgruntled players who played at their own risk complaining about head injuries.

  44. Finally, just one of many. Not only this week ,but every week. FULL TIME OFFICIALS, with accountability.

  45. This is one of the problems I have always had with Hochuli is he makes these calls out of position at weird angles, but when he is in position and clearly sees something illegal, he refuses to throw the flag. Their is countless times it can be pointed out even with photographic evidence.

  46. Bottom line here folks…The NFL really does stand for “Not For Long” as in no more watching. First off, I am sick and tired of the gangster players celebrating when they do their damn job! It’s looking more like a dance recital than a football game! Second, these officials think they are bigger than the game and throw incessant flags to get their face time. Third, this doesn’t even resemble football anymore. Why bother playing defense? Anyone who has played the sport knows the inherent risks! Man up, put on your big boy panties and play! And finally, Roger the Godell has over saturated the market, just as Mark Cuban stated. The downfall has begun. What a tragedy. Now I have to work on the honey-do lists on Sunday!

  47. Ok NFL/Competition Committee, what is the recourse ??
    It means absolutely nothing for the NFL to come out and say the refs blew the call. The ‘9ers & Steelers were still done an injustice.
    The ‘thinkers’ at the top of this institution need to sit down and figure out how to get these calls correct IN-GAME.
    After-the-fact apologies do no one any good.

    And while we’re at it, let de-emphasize the overly stringent defensive backfield calls.
    You’re killing the game.

  48. The Seahawks are one of the most universally disliked teams in the league, and also the most penalized while thier opponents are least penalized at a historical rate.

    you guys acting like there is a league/seattle love affair because of ratings have no clue what you are saying and sound super ignorant of those tricky things called facts.

  49. Hochuli had Russel Wilson in his fanduel league. he wanted to make sure he kept the Seahawks offense on the field and try to deter more hits on him later in the game.

  50. Two Weeks in a row the Refs cost an NFL team a game with an incorrect call. last week my Chiefs got jobbed by the Refs on the Kelce fumble (and two other calls were wrong too). Something has to be done about this. The Refs can’t just keep costing teams victories and get away with it. Go Chiefs.

  51. Just one of many bad calls yesterday, like the holding call on Britt. People love to point at one call & say it cost SC the game……..they don’t remember all the bad calls that went against Seattle.

  52. Your “facts” are facts at all. They are merely your opinion…nothing more

    kylexitron says: Dec 15, 2014 11:04 AM

    The Seahawks are one of the most universally disliked teams in the league, and also the most penalized while thier opponents are least penalized at a historical rate.

    you guys acting like there is a league/seattle love affair because of ratings have no clue what you are saying and sound super ignorant of those tricky things called facts

  53. That was a bad call but it was not big enough to change the outcome of the game. Maybe if the Niners didn’t lose to the Raiders they wouldn’t be in this situation. Wishing the injured Niners a full recovery. Go HAWKS

  54. A ‘huge’ call that didn’t impact the outcome of the game in any way whatsoever. If the Seahawks don’t get the call and the first down, they kick a field goal for a 13-7 lead. If they miss the field goal attempt, they maintain their 10-7 lead. San Francisco fails to move the ball meaningfully or score again. Huge.

  55. Seahawk fans should be looking forward to the post season, not bagging on the niners who are out of it.
    The only thing worse than a sore loser is a ‘sore winner’

  56. It sure seems like Pete Carrol always ends up on the beneficial side of these controversial calls. Here’s hoping karma evens itself out in the future.

  57. There are WAY too many penalties called on defensive players. It’s excessive and ruins the physical nature of the sport.

    NFL refs should be required to watch an NHL game. They create a good balance of penalties v. physical play.

    NFL refs are completely over the top on calling defensive penalties.

  58. Anything high or low is a foul. Anything that looks bad in real time is a foul. What is a defender supposed to do?

    The NFL needs to move toward reviewing hits on QBs and “defenseless” receivers. That kind of thing, right or wrong, can turn a game.

  59. It’s tough being a team other than Seattle these days. The NFL narrative was already written last summer. But their time will come when they have to pay their qb more than $500,000.

  60. Bad call but i saw nothing to make me think SF was going to score again. Would of been nice to see a chance to but this team did what they have done on offense all year in the second half. The outcome shouldn’t have been a surprise on either side

  61. Why doesn’t the NFL allow coaches to challenge EVERYTHING during the game!?!? Just limit the amount of challenges by a coach to 3 or 4 a half. Problem solved…. for the most part.

  62. Regardless of the bad call, the Kaepernick led, inept offense wasn’t going to win this game for the 49ers… Too bad the 49ers’ interception, just before the half, didn’t lead to a touchdown. After the half, the only way the 49ers were going to get another touchdown or win the game would have been through the defense or special teams units. The offense was stymied for most of the game. Again, the 49ers’ quarterback’s performance, play calling and patch work offensive line got the better of this team and was the major reason this team lost… The Hochuli call, no question, changed the momentum in this game. However, the 49ers were over their heads matched against the Seahawks, historically, for the last few seasons… As a 49ers’ fan, I look forward to next season with a much healthier team and some personnel and coaching changes… Jed York and Trent Baalke have to think long and hard if they fire or trade Jim Harbaugh; if there’s dysfunction between ownership and general manager, strong head coaching prospects will stay clear of this team. There’s no doubt that this team has a lot of talent, especially on defense, so it won’t take much for Harbaugh or any new head coach much to turn this team into a winning team… Go Niners!

  63. How about the roughing the passer call on Jason Worilds for the hit on Matt Ryan in the Steelers-Falcons game?

    It doesn’t get much cleaner than than that.

  64. Another corrupt NFL official making a phantom roughing call that cost the Niners another game. So what else is new. We got one such call last year in the New Orleans game. We got two of them in a roll against the Cardinals earlier this year that cost us another game. That is why I want the NFL to allow challenges to the roughing calls. There is no good reason a roughing call cannot be challenged.

  65. Certainly, if he doesn’t see the whole action we don’t want him to throw the flag…

    You just doubled the number of cheap-shots that are going to be pulled next week.

  66. The NFL’s love affair with the Harbaugh brothers never ends. The Steelers roughing call was 10 times worse and not an apology? It is amazing how the Ravens, Niners & Pats are in bed with NFL office. I just don’t get it.

  67. Referees are like the weather – they are part of the game and you have to win despite them.

    I don’t think Seattle has any more or fewer cases – every team suffers this problem. We’ve seen our share of Vinnie Testaverde’s head scoring a TD, and SB XL, etc. We’ve benefited from calls like the Fail Mary too. Every team can say these things.

    If we want the game to improve then I think we should lean on technology. If the NFL want to modernize then, instead of piling on the pansy rules, instrument the ball and players. Take the refs out of as many equations as possible.

  68. I’m tired of these apologies after the fact, they mean nothing. Not like you can go back and replay the game from that point. Need to make penalties challengable. Remind me of last year Ahmad Brooks hit on Drew Brees cost us that game and the first overall seed meaning we wouldn’t have had to go to Seattle for NFC Championship game and who knows what would’ve happened. But hypotheticals don’t win championships. You can say that that penalty on Moody hitting Wilson wouldn’t change the game completely but you can bet with the season on the line you would’ve got every last bit of fight out of the Niners while being down 13-7 instead of 17-7 there. We dug ourselves in a hole losing to Bears, fumbling the ball against Rams on goal line and embarrassing ourselves against Raiders but at the end of the day we still had a chance and deserved the right to have that decided on the field between players and not the referees.

  69. the NFL keeps adding these rule changes as a way to control the games more. They can basically throw a flag now for any number of bogus penalties on any given play, to negate big plays that the NFL doesn’t want to happen, thus controlling the games. Ever wonder why they do all these “official reviews” in NY?

  70. What do you expect when officials are instructed to “err on the side of safety” on defenseless player, roughing, etc (aka “call what you THINK you see”) instead of “call what you see” like every other call.

  71. A lot of crying out there from people (most are trolls) abou this call that ended up being a non-factor. Let’s look at some facts:

    1. Seahawks are one of the most penalized teams in football, so let’s not make it out to be some sort of love affair that officials have with the Hawks.

    2. Whether the 9ers were down by 6 or 10, Harbaugh wouldn’t have changed a thing that he did that next drive. They went for it on 4th and made it the first time, then missed it the second time. Harbaugh was going for it all night on 4th and 1…nothing would have been different.

    3. The 9ers have been TERRIBLE all season long in the 2nd half. Were we to expect them to turn this around against the best defense in the NFL who had been destroying them the entire 2nd half?

    It was a terrible call. I think PI and roughing the passer need to be reviewable. They can be game changing. However, this call was not game changing. It could have been, but it was not.

  72. All of you know what team I root for and it was a really bad call just like so many this year. I honestly hate watching for flags after every play. It is ruining the NFL experience I fell in love with.

    The hyperbole of the worst call I have seen needs to stop. We have all watched games where the stakes were far higher and the call actually impacted who won and loss.

  73. Just because it’s a good hit on the QB does not mean it is illegal. Sadly that is the way it seems as though this is the way it is being interpreted. A good hit on Ryan yesterday that allowed the Falcons the to extend the drive and score a touchdown. It was a clean hit by the Steelers linebacker also (And I’m a Falcons Fan). I’m sure there were other’s around the league. Let the guys play !

  74. The 49ers touchdown run by Gore also shouldn’t have happened. There left tackle flinches for a false start that wasn’t called go back and watch it again if you don’t believe me. So bad calls went both ways, take that one away and the niners posted a zero. The officials all around need to do a far better job, the replay system this year also isn’t really doing anything positive that I can see either.

  75. Make all calls reviewable and penalize the team if the referee’s call stands as callrd.
    Hell,the networks would go to commercials, make more money, the NFL would ask for highet broadcastind fees and i get a bathroom break

    It’s win-win

  76. Hochuli is one of the best refs in the NFL. They make mistakes. I hate blown calls too, but if your team isn’t good enough to win despite a bad call, then whine about your team, not the refs.

  77. @patriotinvasion…..the NFL is being sued by former players because the NFL lied in regards to their knowledge of the severity of concussions; not because players are complaining about head injuries after playing at “their own risk”.

  78. After that call I lost interest in the game. Too many games being decided by the refs. Really it was close? If that is true they need to put some pink flags on the quarterbacks and make it flag football!

  79. It is impossible to make the right call 100%, simply impossible. The only way to stop this would be to allow replay on penalties, but depending on how many challenges you allow it could really disrupt the “watchability” of the game, which is of utmost importance to the popularity/money of the game.

  80. As a Seahawk fan, I have no problem saying that it was a bad call. It was. I also have no problem saying that it was nice being on this side of a bad call.

    All you people that are saying that the Seahawks benefit from bad calls more than any other team couldn’t be any more wrong. The Seahawks have had the fewest penalties called on their opponents this year than any other team in the league. The Seahawks are also the most penalized team in the league.

    Go back and watch the Chiefs and the Rams game and come back and tell us with a straight face that the Seahawks didn’t get jobbed in those games. And those calls actually did directly have an impact on the outcome of the game. The call yesterday DID NOT.

    The Seahawks were up 10-7 at the time of the call. The 49ers didn’t score at all the rest of the game. Even if the call wasn’t made and the Seahawks missed that gimme field goal, THEY STILL WOULD HAVE WON. Get out of here with the BS line that it was a huge momentum changer. The 49ers had 67 yards in the whole second half. They had plenty of time left in the game to overcome that call and they didn’t. They couldn’t move the ball. It was a horrible call. It had nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

  81. ****

    Let’s just call a spade a spade…….the NFL wants to legislate out anything that even could be remotely construed as being “contact”.

    If that’s the case just say so………don’t let defensive players continue to play under a false notion that they can still tackle players.

  82. I am not defending the referees but the NFL game is way too fast for 7 guys to watch 22 players, and their hands, and their feet, and their helmets on every single play. Not to mention trying to see all of that around the mammoths that play in the NFL these days. You have to remember that the refs do not see the 12-angle super slow motion replays that we do when they call the penalties. They are reacting on instinct and what they can see in the blur of an NFL play. Unfortunately, their instinct is more wrong than right. Other than adding more eyes and possibly giving the replay booth an immediate overturn authority of penalties like this without the ref’s input, this problem will continue.

  83. This is bound to have an effect on the outcome of the game now!!! I’ll be back to tell you all how the score has changed!!! Wait here…

  84. Funny how an official can say he got it wring if he had all over again..bla bla bla. A player is fined and penalized when he screws up. To many officiating crews trying to call to many rules, we saw plenty yesterday and last night to shake your head at on why or why not no call These officials that are under contract and are suppose to be so good cause teams to win or lose by what they think they saw and when showed wrong ,nothing is done to them.

  85. Everyone knew is was a bad call when Hoculi didn’t spend 10 minutes explaining the call to everyone in the stadium.

  86. Hoculi normally is one of the better ones. But forget this call, what about the one in the Steelers game. The only reason that game was competitive was because of the bogus roughing the passer call on Worilds.

  87. Start paying the officials more and then fine them for poor calls. There needs to be some deterrent, just like the defensive players get fined for illegal hits.

    That is best idea I’ve heard in long time in relation to better officiating – for just about any sport.

  88. Seattle is #1 in the NFL in Penalties, and i believe New England and Denver are 2 and 3. Who has the least penalties in the NFL? Jacksonville. yeah, so knock off the whining. Aggressive, smart teams that like winning will push the limits, you dont like it? then you either root for a crap team, or don’t care about winning.

  89. A few weeks back the NFL told the Seahawks that pass interference should have been called on the Chiefs db that prevented Doug Baldwin from catching a game winning TD pass. That bad call actually did cost the team a win.

    Yesterday’s penalty might have cost a few points but it had no actual impact on the final outcome of the game. All of you who told the Seahawks fans to quit whining after the Chiefs loss should take you own advice now and move on.

  90. The mythology and foundation of the NFL was made by players like Ray Nitschke, Dick Butkus, Mean Joe Greene, Jack Tatum, Lawrence Taylor, etc. Emasculate the defense, take away legitimate hits, and pro football will become a joke like pro wrestling.

  91. So because Joe Buck couldn’t shut his damn mouth this call is still being talked about.

    SF didn’t do anything right on offense in the 2nd half, and that’s why they lost. 6 net yards in the 3rd quarter isn’t exactly moving the chains.

  92. Wrong call? Who did not realize that? I am neither a 49ers fan nor Seahawks hater, but anyone who says this had nothing to do with the outcome of the game knows ZERO about football. It was 3rd down the 49ers had stopped them–this single play shifted the momentum entirely and was a 4 point swing. Football know nothings loudly chirping on PFT. What else is new?

  93. “Your “facts” are facts at all. They are merely your opinion…nothing more”

    Well, actually his facts are real facts and not opinions such as yours.

    Seattle has a penalty differential of -54 (Hawks called for 117 penalties, 63 called against the other team). Next closest is Denver at -26. You might want to do a little research before you offer your opinion… It’s not hard to find the data. At all.

  94. Perfect example of how the NFL’s rules are too complicated at this point but are impacting the outcome of games. I am not a 49ers fan, and I had no rooting interest in this game. But far too many games are being impacted because of calls that are nearly impossible to call at full speed. Blandino himself admits in this article that with the benefit of instant replay you can see he did not commit a foul but at full speed, it was a tough call. So either allow these calls to be replayed (which would be stupid to begin with) or get rid of the rule.

  95. This is the same idiot that called a PF on Suh for “a forearm to the head of the back of the runner, (his actual words). Look up Suh’s Forearm Punch on Cutler on Youtube. It doesn’t get any worse then that.

  96. Ed talks too much. Always has. Loves hearing himself on that remote mic every Sunday so millions can hear what he has to say.
    He should retire. Looks pretty old and confused in that latest picture of himself in action.
    The best part about the grading system for NFL refs: if they screw up a game this bad like on Sunday, they eliminate themselves from consideration for the Super Bowl.
    He can appeal a bad grade, but the PR-sensitive NFL won’t let him near the Super Bowl after the year they’ve had.

  97. I understand and agree with the calls for reviewing PI, roughing, defenseless receiver, etc… However, do we really trust that the league or refs will be able to swallow their pride and reverse a call that’s not absolutely black & white? I sure don’t.

  98. It’s really hard to watch a game these days. I hold back cheering an exciting play because I know a flag has probably been thrown already. Then, on the replay, when I see that the official has mistakenly overreacted in protecting the QB or WR, it makes me wonder if the popularity of this sport is taking a big hit.

  99. Hochuli thinks the fans come to watch him ref. He seriously does. He’s an average, at best, referee who err’s regularly. The league needs to take his make-up case away from him and tell him he can no longer wear mascara during NFL games………….

  100. They need to make these hits reviewable. It’s hard to blame Hochuli for missing a call that is close in slow motion from a difficult angle. These leading with the helmet hits are normally going to be easy to review (either the defender leads with the crown or not) so it shouldn’t take that long and the league should take the time to get it right.

  101. The NFL needs to make the referee’s job easier.

    They need to attach a rubber band from the ref’s sleeve to the yellow hanky, so, the ref can throw the flag and not waste time and effort bending over to pick it up.
    Plus, he could then throw it multiple times on the same play! Boing! holding, boing! interference, boing! ruffing the passer. Now, that would be efficiency!

    Only downside would be injuries to refs shoulders and elbows. Might need to institute a flag throwing injury protocol for such injuries, similar to concussion protocol.

  102. I’m about ready to stop watching NFL football. Yesterday I watched the Raiders/Chiefs and there was a penalty after just about every play. Then that potentially game changing horrible call in the 49ers/Seahawks game. It’s to the point where as soon as a play is over the first thing you do is look for a flag. They are ruining the game. College football manages to referee the games fairly well.

    Muscle-head has a long history of terrible calls. He should be out of a job. He is a terrible referee.

  103. there are four aspects in a football game that can determine the outcome. Offense. Defense. Special Teams and now the officiating. There is an old mantra “can’t blame a loss on the refs.” that used to ring a bit of truth when breaking down a win/loss. but these days, the officials play far too big a role in the outcome of these games. eventually this could be a problem for the No Fun League.

  104. All of you seahawk fans ranting about how this call wouldn’t have mattered in the game are missing the point. Nobody commenting on this other than hawk or 9er fans care about the impact this made on this particular game. Nobody.

    What we are all concerned about is how these calls are being made every week and it’s ruining the game.

    Refs are throwing flags on almost any hit that just has the appearance of being violent. It’s nonsense.

  105. Seattle burned away the last 2.5 minutes of the game clock, with no intention to score. If the game is 13-7 Seattle is a least attempting to score over that last 2.5 minutes. Much ado over nothing. A single game does not an entire season make. SF’s issues are bigger than a single play, and that’s why SF’s season is over. Use common sense.

  106. No NFL officiating crew throws more flags than Ed Hochuli’s crew. No NFL referee makes more calls favorable to the home team than Ed Hochuli. Look it up. Ed Hochuli likes to see himself on camera. That’s the bottom line.

  107. the most penalized while thier opponents are least penalized at a historical rate.

    you guys acting like there is a league/seattle love affair because of ratings have no clue what you are saying and sound super ignorant of those tricky things called facts

    Are these facts? Historical? league/seattle love affair? Facts? Wow…no wonder it’s called “trolling”

  108. For the Seahawk fans crying about “we’re the most penalized”. Look at what you lead in:

    #1 – False Starts (25)
    #2 – Defensive Offsides (9)
    #1 – Neutral Zone Infractions (8)
    #5 – Encroachment (3)

    These are not controversial calls, they are easy 5 yard dead ball flags.

    They are in the top 5 from benefiting from:

    Offensive Holding (21)
    Defensive Holding (9)

    These are bigger impact, judgement calls.

  109. While I’m not inclined to give the officials the benefit of the doubt, I think you have to on this. For the last couple of years we’ve heard about the NFL placing special emphasis on certain types of plays and calls. What the hell did they expect would happen? You get flag happy officials who don’t know whether they’re coming or going. It doesn’t help that their boss twists the knife that he’s buried in their backs either. It is the NFL who determined they wanted to play with how officials call games. Now they know they can manipulate the game and outcomes. Congratulations, Dill holes.

  110. Die hard hawk fan here. My thoughts.

    1-Yes bad call
    2-Bad calls are a theme that never end , why?
    3-If your a fan of any team we all know are teams have been screwed by the refs in critical situations or had it benefit us in others.
    4-Hawks got the shaft in SB40 and remeber the Vinny Testiverdy phantom TD in 1999 when he was 2 feet frm the goal line and got a TD. It was 4th down play in the 4th quarter with a few seconds left in the game. we lost and if call was correct we would have been a wild card, instead we were out.
    5-Hawks got the benefit, yesterday and most famously the Fail Mary.

    refs should only call it if its a 100%. let the guys play and the fans pay to watch them play, not the refs. That SB40 was so bad and hurt so much even though I hate the Niners I don’t ever want to win that way. To much is at stake for each organization and people loose jobs over bad calls.

  111. Any “woo” hit is a penalty now… I don’t blame Hochuli, I blame Goodell and the NFL owners to allow these calls to go on unchallenged. Never in NFL history has the game been so controlled by its officiating.

    If this continues, players and fans should sue NFL films for playing highlights over and over of illegal hits.

    On one hand they say they are for player safety, yet they continue to air such shows like “NFL top 10 hits”…

    Everyone illegal in today’s game, but they keep playing it and compelling young viewers to buy in to their product.

    I’m sick of it! Go pick on the blood sports, like boxing and MMA blood fests. Don’t hear anybody trying to shut them down.

  112. And to the Hawk fans who disagree…

    It may not bother you now, but wait till your team gets the bad call.

    Don’t worry it’s coming, and I hope it comes in the play-offs…

    Good luck!

  113. pancaketaco says:
    Dec 15, 2014 10:03 AM
    Start paying the officials more and then fine them for poor calls. There needs to be some deterrent, just like the defensive players get fined for illegal hits.

    Just a thought.


    Exactly. The officiating has been really horrendous the last few weeks across the NFL. My Eagles have been lambasted by the officials for the last two weeks at home. I just don’t understand why one team is constantly called for things that the opponent is not.

  114. I was tired of these “officials” pretty much after the strike was over. These guys are consistently going more down hill, by the week. I am not an Eagles’ fan, but I whole heartedly agree w/ mancave001! A lot of teams seem to be getting hosed by these “real refs” in favor of other teams, (instead of just N.E. now) for some reason.

  115. These refs are getting payed to make these bad calls. Open your eyes up people. The call alone was worth millons of dollars. If you know how big sports betting is you know exactly what I’m talking about. The spread on the game was 9.5 and with that touchdown Seattle won by 10.

  116. I love all the calls for refs to be fined when making a mistake. Before super slomo and HDTV, none of us fans could see well enough to be couch refs. If you were fined for making a good faith error at work, you all no doubt would be spewing victim statements left and right. Humans aren’t infallible. Stop pretending they should be.

  117. vermonator says:
    Dec 15, 2014 2:41 PM
    And to the Hawk fans who disagree…

    It may not bother you now, but wait till your team gets the bad call.

    Apparently you don’t watch many Hawk games…

  118. All you people on here saying that call didnt affect the outcome of the game dont know the game of football. A 2 possession game changes the way plays are called so quit thinking your beloved hawks won fair and square when the game was given to them by the refs

  119. There’s no reason not to review these plays. In my opinion all reviews ought to be in NY and the game refs should just stand in the middle of the field where the ball is and the result could be radioed to them.

    All this running to the sideline and looking under a hood, running back to the foul spot can be eliminated now. The game would actually speed up not slow down. Stupid to not use the technology now available.

  120. Seattle is last in Opponent penalties per game, and Opponent penalty yards per game. They are winning with teams apparently playing completely mistake free against them in terms of penalties.

  121. I cant believe people are still whining about this call. Okay he might not have had it right, although still the ref has a good point about what part of the helmet made contact first, says he’d stand by the call….but look at the two PI calls that were clear as day, terrible no calls that cost the Seahawks two scores and 70 yards…Yet no one is talking about those terrible missed calls, really much worse calls than the PF on Wilson.

    Everyone fixated on a call that did not change the outcome, just like the no PI calls that would not have changed the game. For all that even, the Seahawks may have decided not to go for the FG and scored the exact same TD… or scored a pile of other points.

    The bottom line is SF never got back into scoring position and lost to a much, much better team.

  122. Even if Moody didn’t get called for roughing the passer, Bethea came in late and hit Wilson full force after the ball was already gone. He didn’t even try to let up on the hit. Call it on Moody, call it on Bethea. Doesn’t matter. It was roughing the passer and the call was correct.

  123. skawh says:
    Dec 15, 2014 2:13 PM
    Seattle burned away the last 2.5 minutes of the game clock, with no intention to score. If the game is 13-7 Seattle is a least attempting to score over that last 2.5 minutes.

    What? If the game is 13-7 with 2.5 minutes left, the Seahawks are NOT trying to score more. They’re looking to run out the clock. If you have any lead at all and the ability to run out the clock, you run out the clock. At that point in the game the 49ers had 0 timeouts left. All the Seahawks need is 1 first down and the game is over. They don’t need to score more. Trying to score more is completely unnecessary and only opens up the possibility of a turnover. Get 1 first down and go into victory formation.

  124. The fix to this is embarrassingly simple: have every play reviewed automatically at NFL HQ. They wouldn’t even have to stop the game, while fans are watching the replay, so are the replay officials. If it looks iffy, NY stops the game to review (just like a ref conference discussing flags after the play and most reviews like this wouldn’t take any longer,) then TELLS the refs the right call.

    The question you should ask is why doesn’t the NFL care enough about getting these things right instead of letting refs

  125. So, if this was so costly to the Niners, how about the two missed PI calls against the Niners in the first half. How costly was that to the Seahawks. We can play, what ifs and woulda shoulda all day. In the end the score is the score, there are bad calls throughout all games, but people want to focus on one call and say that decided the game. If you want to win, how about putting up more than 7 points and not be dominated for 60 minutes.

  126. The referees had a banner weekend they can say honestly we truly ruined pro-football from coast to coast!! The NFL has nobody to blame but there own commissioner and his epic stupidity. On the bright side I am sure the refs and there union made a killing off the bets!

  127. “NFL admits ______ referee got _______ call wrong.”

    We’ve seen this headline at least once a week all year and last. The NFL is broken and needs a real commissioner to come in and fix this mess of garbage officiating instead of Commissioner Gingerhole acting like Bagdad Bob saying everything’s fine.

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