Seattle, WA – Golden Tate was ruled to have come down with a Hail Mary pass in the back of the end zone on the final play of regulation to give the Seattle Seahawks a 14-12 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday.
Green Bay's M.D. Jennings looked to have the ball clutched to his chest with Tate having just his arms on the ball while lying underneath the defender.
Two of the replacement officials raced over to the pile of players to make the call, but one signaled interception while the other signaled for a touchdown.
The play was then ruled a touchdown, and video replay did not overturn the call despite Jennings seeming to have control of the ball.
"I've never seen anything like that in all my years of football," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "It was the most unusual football game I've ever been a part of."
The catch was Tate's second score of the game. He finished with 68 yards on three receptions.
Russell Wilson completed 10-of-21 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns for Seattle (2-1). Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 25 times for 98 yards in the win.
"It's time for this to be over. My hats off the these officials, they're doing everything they can to do as well as they can, but it demonstrates how difficult it is," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "It takes years and years of experience to pull it off properly and in a timely fashion, and it's time for it to be over. The league deserves it, everybody deserves it."
Aaron Rodgers went 26-for-39 through the air for 223 yards for the Packers (1-2).
Cedric Benson finished with 45 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while Jermichael Finley paced all Green Bay receivers with 60 yards on four receptions.
The Packers took their first lead of the game with 8:44 left in the contest when Benson was able to just break the goal line from 1-yard out, making it a 12-7 contest following a failed two-point conversion.
Jerron McMillian intercepted a tipped Wilson pass on the first play of the ensuing drive, but a roughing the passer penalty on the play gave the ball back to Seattle.
The Seahawks were later faced with a 1st-and-25 at their own 43-yard line and were able to get out of the hole with a defensive pass interference penalty on Sam Shields, moving the ball to the Packers' 25.
After Lynch converted a 4th-and-2 with a 3-yard rush to place the ball inside the red zone, Seattle was forced to try for another fourth-down conversion, but Tate could not get a handle on a pass in the left corner of the end zone to turn the ball over on downs with 1:54 remaining.
The Packers could not run out the clock, though, and Seattle regained possession at the Green Bay 46-yard line with 46 seconds left to play.
Wilson hit Sidney Rice for a 22-yard gain on the second play of the drive to move the ball deep into Packers territory, and Wilson would throw three straight incompletions to set up the controversial finish.
"It was awful," Rodgers said about the final call. "Just look at the replay, and then the fact that it was reviewed is awful."
The game remained scoreless in a defensive first half until Wilson kept a 5- play, 73-yard scoring drive alive by converting a 3rd-and-4 from Seattle's 33- yard line with a 7-yard scramble before finding Tate for a 41-yard touchdown on a deep post on the right side of the field with 6:22 left in the second quarter.
Green Bay, meanwhile, did not advance a drive further than the Seahawks' 49- yard line over the first 30 minutes of action as Seattle's defense racked up eight sacks on Rodgers, leaving Tate's touchdown grab as the lone score of the first half.
The Packers used the ground game to get their offense going on the opening possession of the third quarter, with Benson carrying the ball seven times for 34 yards during a 13-play march that moved Green Bay as far as the Seattle 10, but the Packers could not punch the ball into the end zone and had to settle for Mason Crosby's 29-yard field goal.
Following a three-and-out by Seattle, Rodgers found Finley for a 31-yard gain to highlight an 11-play, 66-yard drive that was kept alive by an illegal hands to the face penalty on Seattle's Brandon Browner during a failed third-down conversion inside Seattle territory.
The Packers, however, again could not reach the end zone and Crosby's 40-yard kick made it a 7-6 game with a little over a minute remaining in the third quarter.
After another Seattle three-and-out, Green Bay marched right down the field to take the lead. The Packers converted four third downs on the 16-play, 81-yard drive, including one with a defensive pass interference penalty on a 3rd-and-2 at the Seattle 47.
The Packers first thought they took the lead on a Greg Jennings 11-yard touchdown reception as he caught a short pass to the right and seemed to stretch the ball across the goal line while being tackled, but a review showed his foot went out of bounds before he crossed the plane and the ball was placed at the 2-yard line.
Faced with a 3rd-and-1, Rodgers scrambled to his right and was initially called down just short of the first-down marker, but Green Bay challenged the spot and was awarded a 1st-and-goal at the one after the review, setting up Benson's go-ahead score.
Seattle did not record a sack in the second half ... The Packers lead the all- time series between the teams, 8-6 ... Rodgers fell to 2-1 in his career against the Seahawks ... Lynch failed to break 100 yards rushing for the first time in seven home games ... Seattle was penalized 14 times for 118 yards, while Green Bay was penalized 10 times for 127.