Why the Seattle Seahawks Did Not Deserve the Touchback Call
I’m as glad as anyone the Seahawks beat the Lions in Monday Night Football, but even the NFL is agreeing the referees messed up in giving Seattle the touchback call.
When the Lions were inches away from their game-winning touchdown Safety Kam Chancellor punched the ball out of Calvin Johnson’s arms. The announcers and referees said the ball was punched out of the end zone, resulting in a touchback. Only it wasn’t, and that was clear to everyone who saw the game.
Seattle’s K.J. Wright punched the ball out of the back of the end zone, violating NFL rules. Because the backfield referee ruled the act unintentional, it was not up for review. Again, it is unclear how running up to a ball and punching it is unintentional.
The NFL’s vice president of officiating Dean Blandino has confirmed it. Wright should have picked up the ball or blocked Lions players and allowed it to bounce out. A penalty would have given the Lions another shot at the goal and likely ended the game in their favor.
However, he also emphasized that since intention is subjective, that type of call is not up for review. It is the official's decision whether a punch is intentional, and the judge ruled it was not. Like a Supreme Court decision, it instantly becomes the law of the land whether you agree or not.
However, Blandino said he would be reviewing the call with the official and other line judges.