A pivotal moment in the Seahawks’ win over the Vikings on Monday night came when Seattle’s Bobby Wagner blocked a field goal with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. One official threw a flag, but after a conference, the referees announced that there was no penalty.
Today NFL V.P. of Officiating Al Riveron admitted that there should have been a penalty. In his weekly video, Riveron showed the play and said that Wagner should have been flagged.
“In this case, this is a foul,” Riveron said. “He’s gonna put both hands on a teammate and he’s going to use his teammates to leverage himself to get to the other side. If you use your teammates and/or an opponent to help you to get to the other side to help you block a kick, that is a foul.”
Riveron did not explain why the officials ended up not enforcing a penalty, but the umpire who threw the flag reportedly flagged Wagner for a different but related penalty, against jumping over the line from depth. Another official overruled the umpire, saying Wagner was on the line of scrimmage when he jumped, making it legal in that respect, and none of the officials noticed that Wagner put his hands on teammates to leverage himself.
If the penalty had been called, the Vikings would have had first-and-10 at the Seahawks’ 14-yard line, where they very well might have scored a touchdown and taken a 7-6 lead with just a few minutes remaining in the game. It was a costly no-call for Minnesota, and a fortunate bad call for Seattle.