The Green Bay Packers hosted the Seattle Seahawks for a competitive divisional bout on Sunday night and it ended in heartbreak for Pete Carroll and his men.
The game effectively ended with a 9-yard bullet pass from Aaron Rodgers to tight end Jimmy Graham on 3rd and 9 with 2 minutes left on the clock.
The refs gave Graham the first down which eventually allowed the Pack to kneel it out.
But many Seattle and other fans were crying foul even though the play was reviewed and upheld.
It’s not unusual for fans to get salty when their team crashes out of the playoffs in January.
It seems every year, some kind of controversy crops up that sparks outrage in fan groups and message boards everywhere.
But really, this play does not warrant that level of rage and everyone should just accept that Green Bay won the ball game fair and square. Here’s why.
That marker on TV is a guide for viewers and is not official
If you look closely at the footage, the yellow marker is at least a foot ahead of the official orange marker on the field.
Therefore, if you’re frantically pausing your TV and screaming that Graham is shy of the yellow line, you are using the wrong measure to determine whether he got the first down or not.
That line is simply put there by the broadcasters, Fox in this case, to help viewers at home.
It is clear Graham got the first down and ended the game for the Packers’ victory.
It might not have mattered anyway
A lot of things had to happen for a reversal of this call to result in a Seahawks victory.
First of all, if Jimmy Graham didn’t get the first down, it would have been fourth and inches.
The Packers had options with victory within their grasp.
They could have gone for it. With star running back Aaron Jones at their disposal and an experienced quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, it is not a stretch to imagine they would have been successful.
Everyone who is mad about the Jimmy graham first forgot about this pic.twitter.com/sgLP6Nw7Ug— Nerdwifhat (@NerdWithAPhone) January 13, 2020
Secondly, they may have decided to go for a field goal. At the Seahawks 36 yard line, it would have been a 54-yard kick for veteran Packer Mason Crosby.
Crosby has a completion percentage of 81 and his career longest is 58 yards so, while it may have been ill advised in this hypothetical scenario, it’s not out of the question to imagine it going through the uprights and putting a Seattle victory out of reach.
Thirdly, if they’d gone for the punt at that position, it’s likely Seattle would have had to march it all the way down the field against a defence that was managing to subdue Wilson and the Seahawks.
Effectively, it probably didn’t matter whether Graham got the first down or not.
The Green Bay Packers were the better team
If, and this is an irrelevant if, IF the Seahawks fans were right and the call had been reversed and then the Seahawks had managed some miraculous comeback, they still would have been the poorer team on Sunday.
The Packers played incredibly and yes, almost let it slip in the second half but still deserved the win.
Aaron Rodgers was on form, throwing for a respectable 243 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Davante Adams who had a day with 16o yards.
Running back Aaron Jones, who is among the league’s top scorers, kept true to form with two touchdowns of his own.
The defense also stepped up, with five sacks of the elusive Russell Wilson and kept Seattle to a crippling 33 per cent third down conversion rate.
It would have been a cruel twist of fate, not unlike the Fail Mary which is featured above, for the Seahawks to steal it out from under them based on such a close call.
Matt LaFleur and the Packers deserved to win after implementing an effective game plan against a strong and competitive team.
Get over it Seahawks fans. Don’t let this be a stain on what the Green Bay Packers were able to achieve. It’s not the scandal you think it is.
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