Packers stunned by final call in 14-12 loss

Associated Press Modified: September 25, 2012 at 2:33 am •  Published: September 25, 2012
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SEATTLE (AP) — M.D. Jennings was convinced he had the ball pinned to his chest the entire time and would be awarded an interception to cap Green Bay's comeback victory.

A crew of replacement officials had other views — the ones that counted.

The result is a bizarre ending that gave the Seattle Seahawks a 14-12 victory Monday night that capped a tough weekend for the replacement refs.

"I was very shocked," Jennings said. "But, the refs got the last say, so it is what it is."

Russell Wilson threw a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on the final play of the game, a game that finally ended 10 minutes later when both teams were brought back on the field for the extra point.

Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced "the ruling on the field stands" and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.

It was nearly 10 minutes before the teams were brought back for the extra point.

The final decision is only going to fuel debate about the replacement officials coming off a weekend filled with disputed calls.

"Don't ask me a question about the officials," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football.

"I know it's been a wild weekend in the NFL and I guess we're part of it now."

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

"It was pinned to my chest the whole time," Jennings said.

A handful of Packers players began venting on their Twitter accounts right after the game, posting protest messages to their followers — many of them too profane to print. Offensive lineman T.J. Lang even challenged the NFL to "fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs."

Others took a more tactful approach.

"It was just a frustrating game. Like I said, the refs did a great job. I can't get fined if I'm saying the refs did a great job, so the refs did a great job," Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings said. "They are here to call the game, we have to, whatever is called and respond to it, show resolve and bounce back."

Green Bay should not have found itself in the position of watching Wilson's final heave be open for debate.

The Packers shook off a disastrous first half when Rodgers was sacked eight times and completely controlled possession in the final 30 minutes. Green Bay ran 41 offensive plays in the second half, got field goals of 29 and 40 yards from Mason Crosby and Cedric Benson's 1-yard TD run with 8:44 left to take a 12-7 lead.

Rodgers finished 26 of 39 for 223 yards and no turnovers.

Rodgers converted three third-down conversions on the Packers' drive to take the lead. He hit Jermichael Finley for 14 yards on third-and-10 at the start of the drive deep in the Packers end. He followed with a third-and-10 completion to James Jones for 13 yards, getting rid of the ball before the blitz arrived.



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