SEATTLE In a bizarre ending that capped a tough weekend for replacement officials, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday night.
Russell Wilson threw a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on the final play of the game, which finally ended 10 minutes later when both teams were brought back on the field for the extra point.
Wilson 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 M.D. 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."
Former NFL coach Jon Gruden, working the game as a color analyst for ESPN, called the decision "tragic" and "comical."
That final decision is only going to fuel debate about the replacement officials following a dispute-filled Sunday.
"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."
And the last game of the weekend will be debated more than any other.
Seattle (2-1) won its second straight, while Green Bay (1-2) saw its streak of wins in six straight road openers stopped.
Seattle forced a Green Bay punt from its 4 with 57 seconds left and started its final drive at the Packers' 46.
Wilson hit Sidney Rice for 22 yards on a slant, then went for Tate in the end zone, but the ball was batted away with 18 seconds left. Wilson threw over the head of Evan Moore on second down, leaving 12 seconds remaining, and missed Tate again at the 5.
On the final play, Tate's shove of Shields was obvious, and it was never clear who had possession between Tate and Jennings.
Seattle instantly celebrated while the Packers argued with anyone in a striped shirt. Both teams were eventually shoved to the sidelines as Tate stomped through the end zone in celebration. Following the review, Elliott's announcement sent the stadium into delirium, and even more confusion ensued until the teams finally returned to the field for the extra point.
"From what I understood from the officials, it was a simultaneous catch. Tie goes to the runner. Good call," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked eight times, had a different opinion.
"It was awful. Just look at the replay. And then the fact that it was reviewed, it was awful," he said. "That's all I'm going to say about it. We shouldn't have been in that position."