By Mike Brown
There was an immeasurable amount of disbelief in the Packers’ locker room following the crazy ending to their 14-12 loss to the Seahawks on Monday night.
“I was shocked when they didn’t overturn the call,” said safety M.D. Jennings, who fought Golden Tate for the pass in the end zone on the game’s final play. “Yes, I most definitely had the ball. It was pinned to my chest the whole time, even when we were in the pile.”
“It was awful,” Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of the officials’ ruling on the game’s final play. (AP photo)
Officials ruled the play a touchdown on the field, determining that Tate and Jennings simultaneously possessed the ball. In such cases, the catch is rewarded to the offensive player. The call was upheld after a review.
Before Russell Wilson’s pass came down, cornerback Sam Shields was shoved out of the way by Tate, which should have drawn a flag.
“I was ready to jump and I got shoved in the back,” Shields said. “When I turned around I saw M.D with the ball in his chest. He said he for sure had it.”
While Jennings was giving his account of the play to the media, the replay was shown on the locker room monitors. Most of the Packers were witnessing it for the first time. A collective groan ensued, with lots of yelling at the televisions and the frustration level rising even more.
There was also plenty of clamoring for a return of the regular officials, who are in a labor dispute with the NFL — especially after 24 penalties were called in the game, not counting those that were declined or offsetting.
When asked if he’d like to get the regular officials back, Shields said, “Oh, definitely, but we just gotta wait, I guess.”
Safety Charles Woodson said the fact that the game had so many flags and ended the way it did could spur the league to settle with the striking officials.
“It’ll have a lot to do with it, I think,” Woodson said. “So we’ll see where it goes from here.”
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