Really, 49ers-Seahawks didn’t need to end like that. Maybe Robert Saleh gets his defense off the field, and the 49ers can take a victory formation. In 2019, that just doesn’t happen. There are close calls in every game, but the Seahawks game definitely had some questionable and wild things going on to end it, and the NFL has a statement on their part in things.
First, let’s go over the pass interference call on 3rd and goal.
I’ll be honest; Like just about everyone, I’m surprised that there was no review on this. There is some mugging going on with Fred Warner, and he clearly does interfere with the ball and the receiver. Or so I thought. Why the NFL didn’t throw this, we may never know. It’s a missed call and a call that may have cost the Seahawks the game.
But that wasn’t the end of the fun. That brought up 4th and goal and Dre Greenlaw doing his best Dan Bunz impression. From the very beginning, it was clear Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was not inside. There was no evidence to support it otherwise. Not inconclusive, or anything other than the fact he simply didn’t cross the plane, period. In fact, on first viewing, you could tell he wasn’t even close. Even the announcers were saying he didn’t cross the plane.
Of course that has some fans salty and crying foul on how this game ended, and they’re right. The officiating was trash. But here’s NFL senior VP of officiating Al Riveron’s response on it:
NFL senior VP of officiating Al Riveron confirms the calls at the end of 49ers-Seahawks.— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) December 30, 2019
On the non-PI, he says “we did review it” and there was “nothing which rises to the level of a foul based on visual evidence.”
On Hollister: “He’s short of the goal line” pic.twitter.com/6X7Y7fvWOz
I’m afraid I have to disagree with the NFL; that was a PI. Like, a blatant PI that at least happened, if not called. Now, if it had been, that would have been a bad turn of events had this game been decided by a pass interference call. The final game of NFL 100’s regular season (or however I’m supposed to phrase it) would have been awful if the officials decided to make this about them.
Now that said, I really have no sympathy for the Seahawks with this turn of events. At all. If you watched the game, you’d see Nick Bosa and other defensive linemen getting mugged, tackled, and blasted in the spine. No flags. When Arik Armstead got a holding call I was ready to stop everything. Seattle had been doing that all night.
Furthermore, there was that awful, awful unnecessary roughness call on Ben Garland. That was what gave the Seahawks the ball in the first place. With the way the 49ers moved the ball, they easily could have converted on that third down—or killed some clock. Unfortunately, that call stopped everything (and Raheem Mostert almost got it anyway).
And I haven’t gotten to the infuriating call of the day, Seattle’s first touchdown.
Forget the holding calls, Seattle blocks quite well here. It certainly helps when the play clock hits zero, and there’s no delay of game called. Shortly after that, Wilson crosses the line of scrimmage to get the ball into Tyler Lockett’s hands. The forward pass can be taken either way; personally, I think his left leg was behind the line of scrimmage (hence being legal), but others want to argue that it was illegal, so let’s have at it. The play shouldn’t have happened to begin with because of a delay in-game. It should have been 3rd and 14. That would have changed the dynamic of the drive and probably forced a field goal, but that can be argued as well. Maybe right on time, the snap gets out?
Regardless, my point is the officiating as a whole was sub-par, and the 49ers were already getting slapped with ridiculous penalties and no-calls on their own. To single out this no-call to end the game as the sole reason the Seahawks lost would be a bit inaccurate. There were a lot of bad calls in this game, that no-call was one of them. Was it pass interference? Yes. Call it at that moment in the game? No.
What do you think of this mess?