A large percentage of football fans have referred to the final play of Monday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks as everything from questionable to absurdly unjust. In reality it was just bad calls equaling out.
New camera angles and video have emerged, showing Tate did indeed have the ball when he landed, thus establishing possession. In fact, M.D. Jennings was attempting to pull the ball away from Tate and couldn't get it loose. If Tate didn't have control Jennings would have been able to pull the ball away with ease.
As for the pass interference call—or lack thereof?—it was obvious, but it is also a call that is rarely made on a Hail Mary.
Faris (@paulafaris) September 27, 2012
ESPN and most of the major sports outlets have said the call was wrong. They take further umbrage with the NFL's stance that the call of a touchdown was correct, other than the missed pass interference.
Critics claim this was little more than spin to take heat off replacement referees. Some even make the erroneous claim that the two officials made different calls.
Quite to the contrary, one was signalling a touchdown and the other was waving his arms to cue stoppage of the clock. Had he been calling for an interception he would have made the gesture with just one arm, the sign for a touchback.
Despite the outcry of the Packers being robbed, the call was nothing more than correcting earlier injustices.
I'm not referring to the Seahawks missing the playoffs because a regular official mistook Vinny Testaverde's helmet for a football. Neither is this comparable to Bill Leavy apologizing to the Seahawks and their fans for making incorrect calls that directed the outcome of Super Bowl XL.
No, the injustice that was rectified on Monday was for blown calls earlier in Seattle's 14-12 win.
Monday night's game was littered with poor officiating, similar to most of the games over the last three weeks.
But similar to the final touchdown, the Packers were on the receiving end of several blown calls that assisted with nine of their points.
The Packers came up short on a third-down attempt and were facing a 48-yard field goal. However, a suspect hands to the face call gave them a first down and an eventual 40-yard try to cut the lead to 7-6.
The more egregious penalty was a pass interference call on Kam Chancellor early in the fourth quarter. Chancellor had solid position and tipped the pass without making contact but was still flagged for interference.
Instead of facing a 4th-and-2 at midfield, the Packers were given a first down at the Seahawk 39-yard line. That drive ended in six points.
There were countless holding penalties on both sides of the ball, and Seattle was granted improved field position on the pass interference call against Sam Shields.
There were also concerns with a roughing the passer call against Erik Walden. The call took away an interception by the Packers.
While the hit may not have been late, Walden dove into Russell Wilson's knee...an area protected by the NFL.
The net result of the replacements was an incredible game between two talented teams was lost beneath the rubble of failed officiating.
Instead of talking about how a great defense can still shut down a powerful passing offense in the NFL, analysts and fans were mired in debate on if it was a touchdown or an interception.
But the inequality of officiating on both sides of the ball makes it difficult to isolate one play and claim it was the tipping point. Both teams were helped and both were hurt by poor calls.
The Seahawks earned the win, despite the rocky end to the game, and the Packers have plenty of season left to make a playoff run.
More important to the rest of the league, the issues with replacement referees were thrust to the forefront of the NFL's priority list and Monday's debacle likely helped speed an agreement.
The embarrassment on a national stage was simply too much to allow either side to remain steeped in stubbornness.
Jay Glazier and the NFL Network offer a great overview of the negotiations and what is left before the officials are back on the field.
Fans shouldn't expect things to improve overnight, as officials need time to get into game shape. They won't have the normal preseason games to shake their rust off.
But it can't be any worse than the replacements, can it?