In one of the wildest finishes in modern NFL history, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate outmuscled Green Bay Packers safety M.D. Jennings to haul in a Hail Mary pass from Russell Wilson to give the Seahawks a controversial 14-12 win on Monday Night Football.
After trailing 7-0 at halftime, the Packers thoroughly dominated the final 30 minutes, with kicker Mason Crosby kicking a pair of field goals before running back Cedric Benson plunged into the end zone with 8:53 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Green Bay a 12-7 lead.
The Seahawks responded by driving down to the Packers' seven-yard line before turning the ball over on downs when Tate couldn't haul in a pass from Wilson with 1:54 remaining. The Seahawks had a pair of timeouts, and were able to force a punt from the Packers, getting the ball back at the Green Bay 46-yard line with 46 seconds remaining.
Wilson connected with wide receiver Sidney Rice for 22 yards on the first play of the possession before firing incompletions to Tate, tight end Evan Moore and then Tate again to set up a fourth down from the Packers' 24-yard line. Facing a three-man rush, Wilson was able to give himself some additional time before heaving the ball into the back corner of the north end zone, where Packers defenders and two Seahawks — Tate and Moore — jumped for the ball. Jennings appeared to haul in the interception, but Tate was able to get his hands on the ball as the two fell to the turf. Two officials converged on the scene, with replacement side judge Lance Easley making the call on the field of a touchdown, which was shockingly upheld by the replay official.
"I was told M.D. Jennings had the ball," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said in post-game press conference. "I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football.
"Very unusual. Most unusual football game that I think I've been a part of. I know it's been a wild weekend in the NFL and I guess we're part of it now."
And based on the NFL rule, it shouldn't have been a catch. And the fact it was a replay and still wrong, makes it worse (Let's not even mention it was blatant offensive pass interference). The rule clearly states the play was an interception:
Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneous by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains control.
Other Packers were more outspoken in their disbelief over what had transpired on the field, with guard T.J. Lang tweeting that Green Bay had been "robbed" by the officials before thanking the NFL for the embarrassing scenario. (Warning NSFW language)
Besides Lang, several athletes took Twitter by storm to give their reactions to the game.
Analysts including Steve Young and Mike Ditka voiced their displeasure over the call. Young went so far to say the officials are ruining the NFL and it's hard to stomach.
"It was awful," Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of the call on the field and the replay. "Just look at the replay. The fact it was reviewed ... it was awful. That's all I'm going to say about it."
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had a much different take, agreeing with the call on the field of a simultaneous catch.
"What a Monday Night Football game," Carroll said. "Tremendous night."
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