Discuss the controversial Monday Night Football finish

The Seattle Seahawks’ prayer was answered late Monday night. The Green Bay Packers may pray they never have to play in a game with replacement officials on the field again.

Photo tweeted  by WSB-TV's Zach Klein showing officials making contradictory calls on the game-deciding play.

Photo tweeted by WSB-TV's Zach Klein showing officials making contradictory calls on the game-deciding play.

Seattle beat Green Bay 14-12 on a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass as time expired at almost midnight.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball into a mob of players in the end zone and the pass appeared to have been intercepted by the Packers’ M.D. Jennings, who had both hands on the ball. Seattle’s Golden Tate reached in and also got a hand in the ball and players from both teams wrestled for possession.

One nearby official signalled touchdown at the same time another official indicated Green Bay had the ball and that he was calling a touchback.

After a replay review, the game officially ended 10 minutes later but only after both teams were brought back onto the field for the required extra point. Some Packers players were seen searching for their helmets to complete the game.

Referee Wayne Elliott told a pool reporter after the game that the play was ruled as a simultaneous possession that was confirmed by the replay official.

“They both possessed it,” Elliott said.

But TV replays also showed Seattle’s Tate also illegally shoved Green Bay’s Sam Shields out of the way before leaping to try to catch the pass.

Replacement officials are being used by the NFL during a labor dispute with the regular officials, who were locked out by the league in June. Even before Monday night’s game, the players’ union had called on the 32 team owners to end the lockout, saying it is compromising the integrity of the game.

“Don’t ask me a question about the officials,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said after Monday’s game. “I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years in football.”

Packers guard T.J. Lang was more blunt, tweeting that the Packers were robbed “by the refs. Thanks NFL.”

The Packers got support from others on Twitter as well.

– Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted “These games are a joke.”

– NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted “I simply just LOVE the NFL too much to see these mistakes. I’m sick like I just played for the Packers”

– Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach tweeted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office phone number, saying in a separate tweet that if the ending Monday did not spark an end to the lockout “this season will be a joke.”

The bizarre finish overshadowed a four-sack performance by former University of Georgia player Chris Clemons, who now plays for the Seahawks. All four came in the first half, tying an NFL record.

Read the latest on the game here. Read more about the growing controversy with the use of replacement officials here.

181 comments Add your comment

Brandy

September 25th, 2012
8:02 am

As a female who has never played football, even I know that you KNOCK DOWN THE BALL on plays like that. As a Packers fan, this hurts. But the OL looked like a high school team in the first half and the offense never got going. Yes, Tate pushed people out of the way. Simultaneous possession can be argued, but at the end of the day, if the ball gets knocked down instead of caught, Pack wins.

Dung Particle

September 25th, 2012
8:02 am

You people whine more than Republicans in an election year!

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
8:05 am

@Top Row Dawg.
So if it is your team that gets cheated, then it is a bad call.
If it is a team you don’t like, then it’s funny.

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
8:09 am

We do agree on something, Dung Particle.
You named yourself right.

byron

September 25th, 2012
8:09 am

The Replay Officials are from the NFL & not a part of the Replacement Refs!

commoncents

September 25th, 2012
8:09 am

PB Orr @4:22 – “That’s corporate America, the most vile organization in American history”

Not quite… that’s Unionized America- free to hold the rest of America hostage by demanding more, then refusing to actually do the work until the get what they want. In corporate America, (if their demands were outrageous) they would be shown the door and NOT replaced with 8th string, previously-fired-for-incompetence refs.

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
8:10 am

We do agree on something, Dung Particle.
You named yourself accurately.

Steve

September 25th, 2012
8:13 am

Clearly looked as though GB intercepted the ball to me. GB DB had the ball cradled in both arms in the air and all the way to the groud. Seattle player had one hand on the ball and was reaching around the DB’s body to get that

Falcon 228

September 25th, 2012
8:14 am

Pay the refs. Fire Goodell. Get a commissioner that can make decisions in the best interest of the game. Not the owners or the players or the officials.

Pr

September 25th, 2012
8:14 am

Goodell is an ass. He needs to be replaced. He is a complete failure as commissioner.

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
8:15 am

John Madden gave a ref a compliment one time. He said when that ref was doing the game, he felt a lot more comfortable.
Forget the call folks.
It nuts for the NFL to worry over a few hundred per game ref with the billions that are being made.
Goodell has been heavy-handed from start to finish of his tenure as commish.

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
8:16 am

@Pr and Falcon 228.
Agreed

Jacket Detective

September 25th, 2012
8:19 am

Some seem to be saying,” too bad for Green Bay” because they are a fan of another team.
Yet I suspect they’d be among the whinners if it happened to their team.

BigJakeIce

September 25th, 2012
8:19 am

The replacement refs, I think we can agree, are mediocre at best. With all of the press coverage, they are likely under tremendous pressure to err on the side of caution, which means they cannot do their job. The calls last night were atrocious, especially the pass interference that should never have been called, to the offensive pass interference on the last play that apparently never gets called in a Hail Mary situation. The last play was clearly an interception, and the fact that the ref was standing right there and still got it wrong, confirms the fact that the owners and the league need to get their stuff together THIS INSTANT (thanks to Norm McDonald in the Safe Auto ad), and fix this debacle before it gets any worse – and yes, it will get worse!

omg

September 25th, 2012
8:21 am

The only difference in that call is that it went against Green Bay instead of teams the ESPN commentators dont like. The Falcons always got bad calls such as GB throwing a bomb down the sideline and over head of the GB player but the GB player would stop and let the Falcon play bump him. Flag thrown pass interference! It is great to see these ESPN elite teams get the calls called against them. I like the new refs. I hope the strike continues.

Eisendawg

September 25th, 2012
8:22 am

Please give Burgers n frys a break. He is a replacement blogger.

Bizarro World

September 25th, 2012
8:33 am

I am done watching the NFL til the real refs comeback. If this keeps up we’ll be seeing Detroit and Seattle in the Super Bowl.

ParanoidAndroid

September 25th, 2012
8:33 am

The ruling on the field was confirmed because you can’t review possesion on that play.

rjk

September 25th, 2012
8:35 am

OK, the refs got it wrong. It’s a bad call. All I am going to say is watch the England vs Argentina 1986 World cup game. This was a HUGE game. Hand of God. Everyone knew it was a bad call. Everyone! Yet it stood and England lost the game. Did England like it? Nope. But you live with it, and redeem yourself (2002 World Cup)

DHD

September 25th, 2012
8:37 am

The players blow plays ALL the time and get paid millions to do it. I can understand fans complaining because we have always complained about refs and umps. (see CB Bucknor) But, the players just need to shut up. Somebody should do a video of all their blown plays in that one game last night.

ParanoidAndroid

September 25th, 2012
8:38 am

With all these blown calls, why is no one talking about possible mob influence on any of these games. As a soccer fan, I am getting an eerie familiar feeling. These refs will not be employed by the league in a few weeks and will go back to their regular part-time jobs reffing for some high school. A cash bonus to fix a game seems highly tempting.

observer

September 25th, 2012
8:39 am

Have you noticed how it is only the losing teams that are complaining about the refereeing? Too many “loser” coaches (like John Fox) are using officiating as an excuse for their results. It is also kind of refreshing to see games where offensive holding isn’t called on every other play, and block in the back isn’t called on 90% of kick returns. At least the replacements don’t act like the fans come to games to watch them officiate. Since they have review of plays there is no reason for a bad call to stand. Problem is, griping coaches and fans still don’t agree after replays confirm the call.

ParanoidAndroid

September 25th, 2012
8:40 am

@rjk. lol. I don’t think many on this AJC blog will remember the 86 world cup game. btw. Maradona IS god.

Harvey D. Pooka

September 25th, 2012
8:43 am

All tema have to deal with the same circumstances. Stop the whining and play the darn game. If played properly, the game(s) would not hinge on one final play. {The only thing needing fixing is the time it take for replay officials to review plays – 10 minutes is unacceptible.)

Chris

September 25th, 2012
8:44 am

Who cares! Don’t the fans get tired of:Play is under further review? The networks like it because more advertising. Pro football has gotten way to expensive to go see live and way to boring to watch on t.v.It’s like one big infomertial with a few short messages from our sponsor the N.F.L.

zwih

September 25th, 2012
8:49 am

Lol. Love to see crybaby pro athletes angry. Refs are doing the best they can. It’s hard to criticize a job that I know I couldn’t do better.

Mel A. Tonin

September 25th, 2012
8:49 am

Just proves that some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug!

Other topics

September 25th, 2012
8:52 am

1. Pete Carroll looks like an idiot, celebrating.
2. Golden Tate is a liar.
3. Seattle Quarterback has Tebow type stats and commentators talk about how great he is.

strib1

September 25th, 2012
8:53 am

why just blame nfl. greedy refs are just as much the blame. $$$$ that the problem.. my boss says work for ten dollars a hr. i work or i quit, simple as that….. its not one sided , so dont worry , be happy!! dont make it close and u dont have to worry. go falcons!!!!!!

Rick

September 25th, 2012
8:53 am

Gee, I looks like we have a little whine in Wisconsin to go with their cheese. The replacement refs are doing the best they can and are calling bad calls on both sides of the ball. Move on, people. Nothing to see here.

Bubbles

September 25th, 2012
8:54 am

Meanwhile, we have “bumps in the road” in the Middle East, and Bibi is beating the war drums, ready to invade Iran. The “Arab Spring” may soon turn into a nuclear winter, and our military is running drills in our neighborhoods (in LA, StL, and MN so far, and yours could be next!).
NDAA is passed, FEMA camps built, and the DHS has been arming itself to the teeth.

This NFL garbage is nothing but a mass distraction. Billions of dollars and regular folks personally invested in a farce. Go team!

zwih

September 25th, 2012
8:54 am

Hey mel a tonin, you got that right. Now, I am feeling a little tired, not sure why. Gotta go take a nap.

Thrash

September 25th, 2012
8:57 am

Who really cares? More important things to worry about in the world.

GTJohn

September 25th, 2012
8:57 am

If I were an NFL owner, my team would not be on the field until the real refs return. These guys are not even close. Reminds me of when I refereed my first 7-8 year old basketball game. There is no way fhis game should show up as a win for Seattle. At least 3 obvious blown calls on the last drive for Seattle – all of which would have nullified the TD or the drive itself.
Someone is going to get a career ending injury or worse with these people who are refereeing now. They should at least get the college refs from the area to do the games.

Sideline Dude

September 25th, 2012
8:58 am

Maybe the NBA should have replacement refs this season. It’s a joke, too.

cloudodust

September 25th, 2012
8:58 am

Norma Rae would call the replacement ref’s Scabs. The replacement ref’s have my pity, not my scorn. It’s not their fault but they could do the game a favor by refusing to call them. It’s squarely on the owners, the players union, and tv. The NFL as of today is like a knock-off product made in China. Sad to me is that IF the Falcons continue on the current hot streak, will it be tainted because of replacement refs..?

David

September 25th, 2012
8:59 am

You know what I am tired of seeing coaches and players whine about refs to get fans to overlook their own crappy play. Guess what if Green Bay had played better they would have won, they did not they lost. The officals in the replay both are the normal officals who are in the replay booths and not replacements. Even the non-replacement replay offial called it the same way the replacement refs did. Oh what about the push off, Tate pushed off. Really how many times do the normal refs call offensive pass interferance. Also per NFL rules on a hail mary it’s a jump ball, player contact does not matter. Of course none of this matters to teams, players, and coaches trying to make excuses for poor play.

On My Way

September 25th, 2012
9:00 am

They’re no different from the regular refs. They all make bad calls. I saw a game when a Steelers’ running back fumbled the ball into the end zone and the Dolphins recovered. One ref initially ruled a touchdown prior to the ball crossing the end zone. Result – they gave the ball back to the Steelers on the 3 yard line where they kicked a field goal to win the game.

conspiracy

September 25th, 2012
9:01 am

byron “The Replay Officials are from the NFL & not a part of the Replacement Refs!”

I wonder if the replay officials knew it was the wrong call, but decided not to over turn it, so the replacement refs don’t look bad. I know it’s far fetch, but you never know!

bigdawg88

September 25th, 2012
9:01 am

What’s really bad about this is that it gives the real refs even more leverage. Jacket Detective is right, the refs ought to increase their demands now. Man, it must suck to be a replacement ref right now. Bet they probably tell people they scrap poop for a living rather than tell them their real jobs.

zwih

September 25th, 2012
9:03 am

On my way, you know, that really is true. They aren’t that much different than the regular refs. I suppose the regulars are just more used to dealing with maniacal egos a little better. All in all, it’s fun to see coaches and pro athletes outraged. It really is.

bill

September 25th, 2012
9:05 am

Does anyone know what the strike is all about? The holdup? The referees want a pension plan. Do you give a pension plan to guys who work less than a 90 days a year and have full time jobs on the side? I don’t think sol! I fully support the NFL and holding up a settlement.

I’ve always felt in the three major sports that NFL referees were the inferior lot. Both baseball and basketball have superior crews (they are full time). The replacements are doing the best they can!
Get off their backs!!!!

GTJohn

September 25th, 2012
9:07 am

What about the pass interference call that gave Seattle a first down which was an OBVIOUS offensive pass interference.
You say if Green Bay had played better – well when you play well, defend the play and then the call goes the wrong way, it just takes something out you and your desire to play better. The GB defender could not have defended the pass interference play any better – he even had a chance for an interception until the offensive player jumped on with both hands and pushed off to break up the interception.
A blown call every now and then is expected but these guys are making a career of it during each game and they are losing complete control of the players and coaches.

333

September 25th, 2012
9:12 am

Nightmare? Give me a break!!! You get out there and try to do what these refs are doing. Remember–this is play for pay football—The game was played–that’s all that matters.

Brotha O

September 25th, 2012
9:17 am

…cry babies….what about al those sacks Rodgers had?

Heisenberg

September 25th, 2012
9:17 am

While there is no question that call was horrible, Packers have some culpability here. The Packer defender was higher than the receiver and got his hands on the ball first. Somewhere Tom Jackson is yelling “KNOCK IT DOWN!!!!!!!”. If the defender does what is taught and practiced, the referees are not placed in that position to have the chance to make the wrong call. If the defender spikes it like a volleyball, then the offensive pass interference penalty (if called) would be declined and game over.

Brotha O

September 25th, 2012
9:18 am

Rodgers was sacked about fifteen times wasn’t he? what do the Packers have to say about that?

Really?

September 25th, 2012
9:19 am

Neither one of these teams are a favorite of mine…but this is not what this is about -
we’re talking about GOOD football. The Packers are known for end of game heroics and this game was no different.

What astounds me is that clown that LIED on national tv when directly asked about his shoving of a player “uh…I don’t know what you’re talking about” –

But the real concern is that sometimes you just have to PAY for experience. The average person on their job wants to be compensated for their knowledge – and if this has shown us anything…it’s that EXPERIENCE matters. Do the real refs get every call right every time…? No. But I mean, we all saw the handwriting on the way when the replacements came in…
They are not up to this level of play – plain and simple.

It’s nice to say “those____________ (fill in the blank with your rival team fans) are just whiners”
but when it comes down to it…the replacements are in over their heads.

What’s going to happen if the replacements stay through to the playoffs…? the Superbowl?

i'm a referee

September 25th, 2012
9:19 am

Why isn’t anyone pointing fingers at the regular officials? I understand they are being locked out but that’s because they refuse to accept the offer of the NFL. NFL has an offer on the table that will increase officials pay by at least 50 percent resulting in some officials making close to $200,000 a year to officiate football. And they have all travel and all expenses paid? Give me a freakin break! The regular offiials are not bigger than the game and they need to wake up and realize they have a pretty good thing going and accept offer.

ceemackin

September 25th, 2012
9:27 am

Do we remember the Oakland, New England game? When Brady fumbled, then the refs talk about a tuck rule. We all know he fumbled. That led New England to the win. Bad calls are going to be made all the time, but your game is decided on one call then your team is not doing what they need to do. They are not going to call a pass interference with only seconds left on the game like basketball refs do not call fouls. The refs are doing the best they can.