NFL backs controversial call in Packers vs. Seahawks game

The NFL officially endorsed the call made by replacement referees in which the Seattle Seahawks hail mary pass was a touchdown. Seattle beat Greenbay 14-12.

(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Green Bay Packers cornerbacks Tramon Williams (38) and Charles Woodson (21) and safety M.D. Jennings (43) fight for possession of a jump ball with Seattle Seahawks wide receivers Charly Martin (14) and Golden Tate, right, in the final seconds of the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 14-12.

 The NFL has upheld the Seahawks' 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle's last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.

The NFL says Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have clinched a Packers victory, but that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.

The replacement officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL says that once that happened, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.

RECOMMENDED: Four key issues behind the NFL referee lockout

On the final play, Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone. Tate and Jennings both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.

Meanwhile, the president of the New Jersey Senate says he's drafting a bill to ban replacement referees from NFL games and other professional sports in New Jersey, where the New York Giants and New York Jets both play.

Democrat Steve Sweeney, an official in an ironworkers union, says the NFL's replacement referees have "made a mockery of the sport" and increased the potential for injuries.

Sweeney, a Green Bay Packers fan, also says substitute refs lower the quality of play and devalue fans' tickets.

The bill will not be introduced before next week.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. Chris Christie says he "can't say" whether Christie would sign the measure should it clear the Legislature.

The Giants and Jets both play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

RECOMMENDED: Four key issues behind the NFL referee lockout

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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