Clock error set up Seahawks’ Hail Mary

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Sunday’s game in Seattle ended with the Seahawks throwing an unsuccessful Hail Mary. If it had been successful, the league would have a huge controversy on its hands today.

That’s because the final play never should have happened. On the preceding play, Russell Wilson was sacked. The clock should have kept running, and if it had, the Seahawks — with receivers deep downfield — likely wouldn’t have had time to line everyone up for one last play. But the clock stopped, apparently because the clock operator wrongly thought Wilson had thrown an incomplete pass. In reality, the officials correctly ruled — and replay subsequently confirmed — that Wilson was down.

Former NFL V.P. of Officiating Mike Pereira said on a FOX video today that stopping the clock at 0:11 ended up being a huge mistake because it was 17 seconds later, with the Seahawks still not having run a play, that the officials buzzed the referee to review the Wilson sack.

“You had a clock error,” Pereira said. “You had 12 seconds when Russell Wilson went down on a knee, a whistle was blown ending the play. The clock operator stopped the clock. He stopped the clock with 11 seconds left to go. Seventeen seconds later — 17 seconds later, on a clock that was not supposed to stop . . . you had a buzz from replay. . . . The clock should never have stopped. I think it’s reasonable to say Seattle would have never gotten another play without this clock erroneously stopping.”

Pereira indicated that the league should discipline the clock operator for the mistake, which could have been decisive in the game.

“Obviously there’s a mistake made. Who’s accountable?” Pereira said. “To me, the league is pretty damn lucky that that pass was incomplete in the end zone and not a touchdown by Seattle.”

Two years ago the NFL suspended an official and investigated a clock operator over a late-game mistake. The league may take similar disciplinary actions this week.

53 responses to “Clock error set up Seahawks’ Hail Mary

  1. I thought clock operators were hired by the home team? If this is the case this is a huge no no. Gotta have independent people running the clocks and no “home cookin”. I have seen many plays like this over the years and always wonder about it.

  2. I was waiting for this play to end up in a pass interference by Washington…

    And Seattle Miraculously winning on a 1 yard run on the untimed down.

    I can’t believe for once…. That Seattle didn’t get the benefit of yet ANOTHER call, no call at the end of a game in Seattle.

  3. Meanwhile, officials are reviewing whether or not Russell Wilson parked his vehicle in the designated spot before the game. If it is determined he was not in the correct spot, he will suffer a $150 fine and a loss of driving privileges for one week.

  4. So was Russell Wilson more likely than not aware that the clock should’ve run out? Only way to fix this is a 4 game suspension


    Brady destroyed evidence

  5. slick50kc says:
    November 6, 2017 at 5:16 pm
    The league has their agenda.
    Yeah, exactly. Redskins had backups playing all over the place on the road in Seattle…….but they had hardly a penalty. Seattle had 16. There’s your agenda. Keep the game close if you can.

  6. Fire the clock operator. Suspend Wilson and the ref. Suspend Brady because I’m sure he had something to do with it too. All jokes aside..these games are attempted fixes. Problem for the NFL mafia is refs can only control so much..they can’t make Wilson beat Redskin’s 3rd string defense.

  7. Watch the tape.

    The ref didn’t see the sack and it was ruled an incomplete pass. Clock stops.

    It took a review to get the call right.

    Not sure what Pereira wants to see here??!!

  8. Interesting. It made no sense watching it live. His knee was clearly down before he released the pass and there’s no way, with no timeouts and the way that play ended, that they would have gotten another play off. I was wondering why they would be allowed to benefit by the erroneous call. Blandino had it wrong during the broadcast.

  9. Baldwin shouldve gone down at the 5 yard line and let the Seahawks run out the clock and kick a short FG to win it, rather than score a TD with 1:30 still left on the clock.

  10. It made no sense watching it live. His knee was clearly down before he released the pass and there’s no way, with no timeouts and the way that play ended, that they would have gotten another play off.

    And thats well and good, and I agree.. but the ref comes on and says the ruling of an incomplete pass is under review.

    Referee error is something we’re used to. Not right, and needs to be fixed asap, but again, its hard to paint some grand conspiracy here.

    Just another ref that couldn’t do his job appropriately.

  11. They didn’t do anything to him last year when he did not stop the clock in the Buffalo game which was brought out by every major network. What makes anyone think they are going to punish him this year ?

  12. I don’t like the Seahawks but they would have been able to run the play. The only difference is that with the 10 second run-off, the play would’ve started with 2 seconds left instead of 4 seconds. I have no idea why the refs ran off the 10 seconds from 14 seconds instead of 12 seconds as 14 seconds were on the clock at the start of the 1st down play. My point being that they would’ve still been able to run the play even with the inadvertant clock stoppage…just with 2 seconds instead of 4.

  13. it was initially called an imcomplete pass, that’s why the clock stopped. Once they reviewed they correctly reversed it to a sack and started the clock rolling. You can say it was a missed initial call, but the rest was correct, I think.

    As is fitting, if you re-watch the play, our LG was fully and completely knocked backward onto his behind by the DT, and his man got the hand on Wilson’s foot causing him to trip and effectively close the game. Even if Wilson had spiked it on that play and gained no yards on the next one, it would’ve be a 55 yd FG try, unlikely maybe, but not impossible. So it goes.

  14. Welcome to the WWFL (WWF & NFL)!

    Football has become a joke (with moments of brilliance):
    – Referees swallowing their whistles (Mike Evans launching himself)
    – NFL calling reviews from NY (Riveron on the Jets & Bears touchdowns)
    – Timekeepers stopping the clock for the home team
    – Everybody getting injured
    – Overseeing it all is Vince McMah… I mean Roger Goodell
    Reminiscent of the professional wrestling.

    I’ll watch highlights of my home team,… and that’s about all. My days of caring about the outcome are over.

  15. It’s Wilson’s fault. He had just completed a pass to the 38 yard line. He should have spiked the ball around 15 seconds. There would have been plenty of time to run a 5-10 yard out and set up the tying field goal attempt. Or miss, with Walsh on the team.

  16. How is it that nobody noticed that on the field. The refs should have realized the clock was stopped. Plenty of fault to go around including the homer clock operator who tried his/her best to help Seattle win the game.

  17. As lionsfaninthe505 says, the part I don’t get is how refs can get the call *right* (down by contact) with :12 left, announce a :10 runoff… and then put :04 on the clock?

    Two extra seconds wouldn’t help no matter what the situation, so the only answer is that the referees have a weaker grasp on arithmetic than my 3-year old son. Either way, it’s just plain embarrassing for the zebras. I mean, ten seconds guys. C;mon.

    Oh, and HAIL! 4-0 at Century Link Field.

  18. I’m watching the Green Bay/Lions game and a receiver was tackled with 12 seconds left in the half. Green Bay was able to run their entire field goal team on the field, snap it and kick a field goal before time ran out. Why does Pereira believe Seattle couldn’t have clocked the ball.

  19. The Seahawks were caught cheating? Oh Lawdy Lawdy, who could ever imagine such a thing? The 2012s will still find a way to whine about every call that didn’t go their way.

  20. Blandino was wrong on his comment about the play. It’s funny how we at home know the rules more than the players. Refs, and OMG Blandino!! Wilson was incorrectly rules an incomplete pass. Replay shows Wilson’s knee down before hand, thus by rule, a 10 second runoff should have occurred. Seattle could have called time out instead, but had none left. Game had 11 seconds on the clock, with a 10 second runoff left 1 second. The ref stands over the ball then would have blown whistle. That one second wouldn’t have been enough time to snap the ball. Game over!!! Here’s something not mentioned but you could see the refs discussing, was it intentional grounding? They missed that call as well. Inside the pocket, ball didn’t get back to line of scrimmage, and no receiver in the area. All three areas?? Check!!
    Didn’t matter, the Redskins played with more heart then the Seahawks, and somehow got the win.

  21. Not surprising. But why isn’t anyone referencing clock doctoring in the NFC championship in Seattle when SF had a 15 second play clock on a crucial 3rd and 1, that caused a delay of game and eventually a turnover on a longer down and distance?

  22. I know 40 billion reasons why the Seahawks get away with these things almost every game.

    The official conflict of interest of the NFL

  23. markjohnbennett says:
    November 6, 2017 at 9:48 pm
    I’m watching the Green Bay/Lions game and a receiver was tackled with 12 seconds left in the half. Green Bay was able to run their entire field goal team on the field, snap it and kick a field goal before time ran out. Why does Pereira believe Seattle couldn’t have clocked the ball.


    I’m guessing because the Green Bay receivers weren’t 40+ yards downfield from where the ball was going to be snapped after having run 40+ yards.

  24. The official time is supposedly kept on the field.

    This feels like scapegoating an employee or an organization rather than fixing the blame where it belongs – on the league and the referees.

  25. They stopped the clock to review the play. It was restarted once they had done so and placed the ball, which is standard procedure.

  26. The fail mary vs Green Bay
    Illegally pushing the ball out of bounds against the Lions
    The no-call pass interference on Julio Jones on a game winning throw
    The no-call on Sherman leveling the kicker after a whistle vs the Bills

    And now this?

    When will Seattle finally get exposed?

  27. seattle is slowly falling from the nfl elite. may be supplanted in their own div by LA rams

    say hello to wildcard seattle

    seattle will play at New Orl during wc weekend. and lose

  28. Skins radio announcers were going crazy, as usual, though perhaps this time with some justification.

  29. Isn’t the clock operator supposed to react to the hand signals of the referee? What did the ref signal?

  30. that game wasn’t about “clock error.” It was a self inflicted loss due to play errors and penalties. Seattle should have had, at minimum, a 6 point lead due to 3 makeable field goals. That’s the story of that game, not some lame end of game clock mgmt.

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