Falcons-Seahawks was one of the best games of Week 6 between what have been two of the NFC’s best teams this season. Julio Jones had a huge day against Richard Sherman and the Seahawks’ secondary, catching seven passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Down 26-24 and driving for a potential game-winning score, the Falcons targeted their big receiver, and he almost made a play ... and might have if he hadn’t been grabbed by Richard Sherman.
On one hand, last-gasp plays tend to be refereed more loosely relative to most plays during games. On the other, oh man that is so pass interference. Jones obviously thought so.
Julio Jones said he was interfered with in the last #Falcons offensive play.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 17, 2016
And a presumably impartial Mike Pereira agreed.
No question that was PI. They're all tough, but you have to make that call. #ATLvsSEA— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) October 16, 2016
Sherman didn’t really deny that there might have been illegal contact on the play, but added that. “I thought there was interference on our offense on a few plays.”
It doesn’t help that Sherman had a tough time guarding Jones throughout the game. Sherman was also upset that he wasn’t in charge of marking Jones more often. He blew up at defensive coordinator Kris Richard after Jones was allowed to line up inside of Sherman and torch the Seahawks’ secondary for a 79-yard touchdown.
Sherman wasn’t as upset as the Falcons will be. If a penalty had been called, the Falcons would have had the ball near the Seahawks’ 35-yard line and at the edge of field goal range with roughly a minute and a half left. The non-call renewed the debate over what should be considered a reviewable play by the referees. Unfortunately for Falcons fans, pass interference is not one of them.
Ohhhh, Atlanta is going to be mad about this one for a while.