published Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Seahawks edge Packers on final play

SEATTLE -- In a bizarre ending that capped a tough weekend for replacement officials, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday night.

Russell Wilson threw a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on the final play of the game, which finally ended 10 minutes later when both teams were brought back on the field for the extra point.

Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay's Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown, and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced that "the ruling on the field stands" and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.

It was nearly 10 minutes before the teams were brought back for the extra point.

The final decision is only going to fuel debate about the replacement officials coming off a weekend filled with disputed calls.

"Don't ask me a question about the officials," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football.

"I know it's been a wild weekend in the NFL, and I guess we're part of it now."

And the last game of the weekend will debated more than any other.

Seattle (2-1) won its second straight, while Green Bay (1-2) had its streak of wins in six straight road openers snapped.

Wilson's heave came at the end of a final frantic drive after Seattle had previously missed on a fourth-down attempt from the Green Bay 7 with two minutes left. The turnover on downs appeared to end Seattle's hopes and cap an impressive second-half comeback by the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked eight times -- all in the first half.

Green Bay averted disaster when John Kuhn fumbled on the Packers' first play following the change of possession but center Jeff Saturday recovered. The Seahawks held and forced Green Bay to punt from the 4 with 57 seconds left. The 41-yard punt set Seattle up at the Green Bay 46 with 46 seconds remaining.

Wilson hit Sidney Rice for 22 yards on a slant, then went for Tate in the end zone, but the ball was batted away with 18 seconds left. The rookie quarterback threw over the head of Evan Moore on second down, leaving 12 seconds remaining, and he missed Tate again at the 5.

Wilson took the final snap with eight seconds remaining. He appeared to be looking for Rice on the right side of the end zone but rolled left and threw for Tate, who was in a crowd of three Packers defenders. His shove of Shields was obvious, and it was never clear who had possession between Tate and Jennings.

Seattle instantly celebrated while the Packers argued with anyone in a striped shirt. Both teams were eventually shoved to the sidelines as Tate stomped through the end zone in celebration. Following the review, Elliott's announcement sent the stadium into delirium, and even more confusion ensued until the teams finally returned to the field for the extra point.

"From what I understood from the officials it was a simultaneous catch. Tie goes to the runner. Good call," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Rodgers had quite a different opinion.

"It was awful. Just look at the replay. And then the fact that it was reviewed, it was awful," he said. "That's all I'm going to say about it.

"We shouldn't have been in that position.

It was Tate's second touchdown of the game after catching a 41-yard TD in the second quarter to give Seattle a 7-0 lead. He finished with three catches for 68 yards, while Wilson was 10-of-21 for 130 yards.

The Packers' frustration was almost instant. Guard T.J. Lang was even more emphatic, tweeting that the Packers were robbed "by the refs. Thanks NFL."

Green Bay shook off a disastrous first half where Rodgers was sacked eight times and completely controlled possession in the final 30 minutes. Green Bay ran 41 offensive plays in the second half, got field goals of 29 and 40 yards from Mason Crosby and Cedric Benson's 1-yard TD run with 8:44 left to take a 12-7 lead.

Others spoke their mind by tweeting.

Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted "These games are a joke," while NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted "I simply just LOVE the NFL to much to see these mistakes. I'm sick like I just played for the Packers."

Abraham arrested

At Atlanta, Falcons defensive end John Abraham was arrested Monday night on two misdemeanor obstruction charges when he allegedly refused to leave an area taped off by police.

Fulton County jail records showed Abraham remained in jail late Monday night pending bond of $7,000, or $3,500 for each of the obstruction charges.

WAGA-TV reported that Abraham allegedly entered a taped-off area where a woman was threatening to jump off a building. Abraham was arrested after refusing requests from firefighters and police to leave the area.

The arrest of Abraham, the Falcons' top pass rusher, came one week after running back Michael Turner's drunken driving arrest. Turner, also charged with speeding, was allowed to play in Sunday's 27-3 win in San Diego.

The Falcons issued a short statement Monday night, saying the team was "aware of the news regarding John Abraham. We are in the process of gathering more information and we will have no further comment at this time."

The 34-year-old Abraham is the NFL's active career leader with 114 sacks, including two in the Falcons' 3-0 start. He led the team with 9 1/2 sacks last season and remains a key starter.

Abraham, a free agent after last season, signed a three-year, $16.72 million contract to remain with the Falcons. He spent his first six NFL seasons with the New York Jets. He set a career high with 16 1/2 sacks with Atlanta in 2008.

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