I have not been overly upset with the officials who are replacing the on-strike NFL officials, even with a questionable call in the San Francisco-Minnesota game yesterday. But tonight the Green Bay Packers were ROBBED of a victory by officials who could not correctly interpret a replay where the football was clearly seen from all angles.
There was a flock of Packers and Seahawks in the corner of the end zone as the football came in. Seattle’s Golden Tate shoved a Packer (offensive pass interference). Tate and Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings jumped for the ball. Jennings got two hands on the ball and drew it toward his chest. Just after the ball touched Jennings’ hands, Tate stretched his left arm under Jennings’ right arm and touched the ball. But as everyone fell toward the ground, Tate’s right arm could be seen flailing before he brought it back toward the football. As they hit the turf, Jennings had possession. Tate had two hands touching the ball, but Jennings, not the football was against Tate’s chest.
Two officials ran in; one called no touchdown, the other (#26) could be seen moving his head as he looked at the hands on the ball and then raised both arms. What official #26 saw at that moment was who had hands on the ball after a few seconds of wrestling over it, not who initially caught it. The tape replayed multiple times from each angle on the television while the officials did their review. From every angle I could plainly see Jennings’ hands grab the football and the commentators said the same. The officials use the same replay tape we see.
The rules say that if two players have simultaneous possession, the football goes to the offensive player. But the defense clearly had both hands on the ball before the offense touched it. How could all the officials miss that on the replay?