Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Seahawks 14, Packers 12
By Kevin Seifert
A few thoughts on the nearly indescribable events of Monday night at CenturyLink Field:
What it means: The final game of Week 3 finally gave the NFL what it deserved: An apparent mistake by its inadequate replacement officials impacted the outcome of the game. The Packers were the very unfortunate victims. They are 1-2 and no amount of outcry can change that.
The play: Replacement officials made two egregious calls on the final play, which officially went down as a 24-yard Hail Mary touchdown reception for Seahawks receiver Golden Tate. First, Tate blatantly pushed Packers cornerback Sam Shields in the back to clear room. Second, Packers safety M.D. Jennings appeared to intercept the pass and land on the ground with the ball. Tate reached for the ball as well but did not appear to have simultaneous possession. Of the two officials near the play, one ruled a touchdown and the other a touchback. For reasons unknown, a replay review confirmed a touchdown.
The scene: Officials called a total of 24 penalties in the game, creating such anger on both sides that the Packers stormed off the field shortly after the Tate ruling. Eventually, league officials required 11 players to return for the required extra-point kick. Some players were forced to root through an equipment locker to find their helmets. In all, it was one of the most disorganized and embarrassing scenes you'll ever see on an NFL field. At least, so far.
Sack attack: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked eight times in the first half, one short of an NFL record and a total of nine in the game. The Packers did an excellent job in the second half curbing the Seahawks pass rush by shifting to a run-first offense. They put together scoring drives of 13, 11 and 16 plays. But Rodgers' attempt on a 2-point conversion after Cedric Benson's one-yard run on the final drive gave the Seahawks a glimmer of hope.
JenningsWatch: I haven't seen every game of receiver Greg Jennings' career, but I know I've never seen him anywhere close to as mad as he was after the Seahawks' Brandon Browner decked him with a cheap-shot hit to the head at the end of a downfield route in the fourth quarter. Jennings, who started despite a groin injury, sprinted after Browner and the two wrestled in the end zone for several moments before officials called offsetting fouls. Jennings is a gentlemen (and a gentle man) who blew his top for good reason.
What's next: The Packers will return Sunday to Lambeau Field to host the winless New Orleans Saints. I bet it will be an angry flight home.