We’re still getting used to the new catch rule. The Seattle Seahawks presumably like it.
Two huge officiating calls went the Seahawks’ way on Thursday night in a tight 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers. The second one was particularly important because on Tyler Lockett’s 34-yard catch to the Packers’ 16-yard line late in the fourth quarter, it looked like the ball hit the ground and came loose. But it was called a catch, the Packers didn’t challenge and the Seahawks ended up scoring the game-winning touchdown a few plays later.
Fox officiating expert Mike Pereira said he thought the call on Lockett would have been reversed if it was challenged, and he’s usually right when he makes proclamations like that. But Packers coach Mike McCarthy never challenged. Green Bay had wasted two timeouts, had just one left, and maybe that played into his thought process.
Whatever the reason for McCarthy not challenging, the Packers lost, and now they’re in bad shape at 4-5-1.
Seahawks benefit from two calls
Two controversial catches helped the Seahawks. The Lockett one was huge, and one in the third quarter had a big impact too. On that one, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made a smart challenge. The other looked like it might have been incomplete.
In the third quarter, on third-and-7 at their own 6-yard line, Russell Wilson threw deep to David Moore. Moore had it, then it was jostled loose and bounced out of bounds. It looked like an incompletion based on years of conditioning from the catch rule, but the catch rule has changed. Carroll knows that. He challenged, the replay showed that Moore had it long enough for it to be a catch. It could have gone either way, but the Seahawks got the call.
Instead of the Seahawks punting from their 6-yard line, Moore had a 27-yard catch and a fumble out of bounds. That drive ended with a Seahawks field goal to cut the Packers’ lead to 21-20. Had the Seahawks had to punt, maybe the Packers would have gotten some points on their ensuing drive. It was a big swing.
Then came the Lockett catch, which upon close review looked like it might not be a catch. Pereira didn’t think it was. That led to the Seahawks taking the lead on a pass from Wilson to Ed Dickson a few plays later, with a little more than three minutes to play.
Packers let game slip away
The Packers had opportunities. They started strong, taking a 14-3 lead, and gave that lead away. The offense didn’t do much in the second half outside of one long pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams. Even that long pass into Seahawks territory led to a field goal, not a touchdown. They also could have gotten a stop after Lockett’s controversial catch.
The Packers might have to win out to make the playoffs. That’s possible with Rodgers, but improbable. And if the Packers narrowly miss the playoffs, they’ll wonder what might have happened had McCarthy challenged Lockett’s catch.
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