Seattle beats Green Bay on controversial, highly-criticized play
Criticism of replacement referees continues
7:32 AM, Sep 25, 2012
7:47 AM, Sep 25, 2012
Russell Wilson lofted a controversial 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate as time ran out Monday night to give the Seattle Seahawks a wild 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers that will be heavily debated.
Tate came down with his arms wrapped around the ball, as did Green Bay defender M.D. Jennings. One official appeared to signal interception and the other touchdown, before they settled on calling a touchdown. The play was reviewed, and the Seahawks were awarded a touchdown and the win.
Both teams left the field, then were brought back out approximately five minutes later for the extra point, despite officials previously announcing the game was over. The stands were mostly empty, and the only players out on the field were the 22 on special teams.
In all, it was yet another indictment of the NFL's replacement officials.
Cedric Benson's 1-yard touchdown run with 8:44 to go put Green Bay up 12-7. Aaron Rodgers scrambled on third-and-1 was initially ruled short, but a review changed the spot to give the Packers a first-and-goal chance from the 1-yard line, setting up Benson's score.
Rodgers completed 26 of 39 passes for 233 yards.
Seattle drove back, but Wilson's lofted pass to the left corner of the end zone on fourth-and-2 from the Green Bay 7-yard with two minutes remaining was high. Tate jumped for the pass but couldn't pull it in.
Wilson was 10-for-21 for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Benson helped drag the Packers into the red zone for the first time to open the third quarter. A sharp cutback allowed him to gain 9 yards during the drive. Two Seattle penalties pushed the Packers along, too.
On third-and-5 from the 10, Rodgers shuffled forward, back, then forward again to avoid pass rushers before throwing to an open Donald Driver. The ball hit Driver's hands, bounced off, and by the time he pulled it in, he was out of bounds.
Green Bay had to settle for a 29-yard field goal from Mason Crosby with 8:07 left in the third, cutting Seattle's lead to 7-3.
Crosby hit a 40-yard field goal with 1:14 left in the third to pull Green Bay within 7-6. Green Bay dominated the ball in the third quarter with 13-play and 11-play scoring drives, gaining 111 yards in the period after only totaling 87 yards in the first half.
Seattle's Chris Clemons tied Derrick Thomas' NFL record with four first-half sacks. Thomas did it against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 8, 1992. The four sacks also tied a Seahawks franchise record.
Marshawn Lynch carried 16 times in the first half, and all those runs paid off when play-action froze the Packers' defense with 6:22 left in the second quarter.
Wilson pulled the ball back from Lynch, then lofted a pass to Golden Tate, who ran past two Green Bay defenders for a 41-yard touchdown.
The five-play drive, helped by two Green Bay defensive penalties, put Seattle up 7-0.
Defensive end Bruce Irvin made an impact early on national television. The Seahawks surprised many by drafting him 15th overall out of West Virginia. Irvin showed why the Seahawks drafted him so early by sacking Rodgers twice in the first quarter.
That was just the start. Clemons upstaged Irvin by sacking Rodgers four times in the first half. Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half by the Seahawks defense, tying the most times Rodgers has been sacked in a game. He was also sacked eight times against the Minnesota Vikings in 2009.
The opening 15 minutes was a stalemate. Rodgers was under constant pressure and the Packers didn't make it past midfield in the first quarter.
Wilson led the Seahawks past the 50 just once.
he teams combined for seven penalties and six first downs. The game was scoreless after one quarter.