It was only fitting that the last game of the NFL regular season came down to the final couple of plays and the officials were involved, or I guess you could say not involved, in the 49ers’ 26-21 win over the Seahawks.
Facing a 3rd and goal situation from the five-yard line with 15 seconds left, Russell Wilson slung a quick pass toward Jacob Hollister in the endzone that fell incomplete. There was plenty of contact on Hollister, but no flag was thrown. The game wasn’t even stopped for any type of review on a possible pass interference call, but according to the NFL’s senior VP of officiating the play was actually reviewed in New York, but there wasn’t enough there to stop the game for an on-field review.
Whether it was a possible pass interference or defensive holding situation, there was clearly enough contact that could have warranted an on-field look. The fact they didn’t decide to stop the game was flat-out mindblowing.
Here’s the statement from the NFL’s vice president of officiating Al Riveron on not reviewing the play and why there wasn’t a flag thrown, per NBC Sports:
“Well, we actually looked at it here in New York. We had a great look. NBC gives us a great look of the entire route. So, we actually did perform a review, but based on what we saw, we didn’t see enough to stop the game. But we did review it. What we see is, we see the offensive player come in and initiate contact on the defensive player — nothing that rises to the level of a foul which significantly hinders the defender, nothing that is clear and obvious through visual evidence, which hinders the defender. The defender then braces himself. And there is contact then by the defender on the receiver. Again, nothing which rises to the level of a foul based on visual evidence. Nothing happens that rises to the level of a foul while the ball is in the air before it gets there by either player.”
Wilson decided to go right back to Hollister on the very next play, but he was ruled just short of the goal line after being met by San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
The Seahawks will now have to travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs while the 49ers were crowned NFC West champions with the win.