The NFL released a statement Tuesday in which they addressed the controversial final play in Monday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. But fans expecting the league to come out and say the replacement referees did a terrible job will be disappointed. The NFL concluded that any time two players go to the ground with the ball, the catch always defaults to the offensive player, which in this case was Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate.
The league agrees with referee Wayne Elliott that there was no indisputable visual evidence to overturn the call on the field. In other words, they did not conclude that M.D. Jennings, the Packers' defensive back, had full possession of the ball, as it was shared with Tate, who gets the nod because he plays on offense.
Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
The result of the game is final.
Rules cited include everything in the NFL rulebook that has to do with completing a catch, which includes having clear control of the ball all the way to the ground. It's an odd rule to cite given how unclear everything actually was on that play. There are simultaneous-catch rules, which are cited at the end of the statement that corroborate the earlier note that offensive players get the nod in those situations.
Outside of the actual catch and the simultaneous rules, the NFL agreed that there should have been an offensive pass interference call when Tate shoved Sam Shields, and that it should have ended the game. Such a play is not reviewable in instant replay, however.