To be fair, the NFL officially states the replacement refs got this one right—sort of.
For those who missed this play in question, boy, you missed a doozy. We take you back to Sept. 24, 2012, a time of great tumult between the league and its locked-out officials.
In the interim, the NFL decided to use replacement refs. The most famous play from that debacle came at the very end of the Packers regular season game against the Seahawks.
Russell Wilson tossed a Hail Mary into the end zone. Golden Tate, after shoving Packer cornerback Sam Shields goes up for the ball but is seemingly (he was) beaten to the football by the Packers' M.D. Jennings.
The NFL eventually had this to say:
While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.
When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
The result of the game is final.
As for the "simultaneous catch", former NFL official and officiating supervisor Jim Daopoulos, in a Peter King article states simply, "Simultaneous possession is two men catching the ball at the same time. Tate sticking his [left] hand in there is not enough for simultaneous possession."
So if you want to add some serious drama to the end of a regular-season game in September, just bring in some replacement refs. Things are bound to get interesting.