NEW YORK — The NFL conceded Tuesday that a bad call cost the Green Bay Packers the game while upholding the Seattle Seahawks' victory.
As coaches, players and fans — and even athletes in other sports — ripped the use of replacement refs, the league met with its locked-out officials Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the impasse.
Two people with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that the sides were meeting Tuesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were not made public.
The NFL said Seattle's last-second touchdown pass Monday should not have been overturned — but acknowledged Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch for a 14-12 victory.
The ire around football at the struggles of the replacements had been steadily building this season, and it reached an apex Monday with what everybody had feared would happen: a highly questionable call deciding a game.
On the final play of "Monday Night Football," Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone with Seattle trailing 12-7. Tate shoved away a defender with both hands, and the NFL acknowledged Tuesday he should have been penalized, which would have clinched a Packers victory. But that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.
Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings then both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.
"It was pinned to my chest the whole time," Jennings said.
Instead, the officials ruled on the field that the two had simultaneous possession, which counts as a reception. Once that happened, the NFL said, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.
"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 league said in a statement.