The New York Giants and Seahawks each had very different views of Paul Richardson‘s 38-yard score, which more or less sealed the Jints fate.
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) October 22, 2017
It was deja vu all over again for the Seattle Seahawks in the best possible way on Sunday late afternoon.
In a play reminiscent of the infamous “Fail Mary” five seasons ago, Seattle again benefitted from a deep pass play involving simultaneous possession in the end zone, as Paul Richardson was awarded a 38-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson after an intense battle with New York Giants safety Landon Collins. The touchdown was achieved with a bit of Seattle trickery, as Wilson ran a lateral flea flicker with running back J.D. McKissic before launching the throw to Richardson.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 22, 2017
Despite Richardson not appearing to maintain possession of the ball, it was nonetheless ruled a catch upon review. The score gave the Seahawks a 17-7 lead in the fourth quarter, and more or less put the game away.
Collins, who had a fumble recovery and runback that set up the Giants’ lone score of the game, made his disagreement with the officials’ call abundantly clear.
“It was an interception,” Collins declared after the game. “Once you saw it, you could blatantly see it was on my chest. Once the referee could see it, it was like he has possession of the ball. I turned over and he was trying to fight into my arms to get it. That was my ball.”
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo shared his defender’s sentiments.
“We’ll go look at the tape, but I did not think he had possession of the ball before his foot hit (out of bounds),” McAdoo said. “(The officials told me) they thought he clearly had possession of the ball. He lost possession, and clearly had possession of the ball before he went out of bounds and had his foot on the white. That’s why they gave him the touchdown.”
Obviously, those in the Seattle locker room were perfectly fine with the call.
“I think Paul got his hands on it first,” Wilson said. “(He) kind of brought it down and, you know, it was definitely a pretty crazy play, but it’s like baseball—simultaneous, hitting the bag first. It was a great play by Paul, a great effort obviously by Landon Collins, too, as well, but fortunate for us.”
“You can’t say (anything) about Paul,” fellow Seahawks receiver James Baldwin said. “I told him on the field that I really admire him because he’s had some struggles and injuries and not getting opportunities when he could have, but he makes the best of every opportunity that comes to him. Again, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Richardson did not comment on the catch afterward.
Ironically, the officials for this week’s game also oversaw last week’s infamous Jets-Patriots game at MetLife Stadium. In that game, controversy reigned when an Austin Sefarian-Jenkins touchdown was ruled a fumble and a touchback, the deciding factor in a 24-17 New England win. Referee Tony Corrente offered an explanation after the game.
“The receiver went into the air, had control of the ball, lost control, re-grasped the ball and at the same time he did, the defender grabbed the ball, also. They went to the ground simultaneously with the football,Then they started a little wrestling match. It’s over now. That catch is established because if the defender was to pull the ball out of his hands now, it’s still a catch because the defender has a second action. So at that point when they were on the ground together, and they’re tussling to begin with, the catch is over, that’s the touchdown. Now, after that is when he rolled over and we don’t have any clear view of, quote unquote, anything happening after that. So that’s where it stands.”
While Corrente and his crew did make the original call on the field, they do not control the results of replay reviews. That duty, thanks to a new rule created this year, is now run by the league replay offices in New York.
Even if Collins was denied an interception, one has to wonder how much impact the supposedly botched call would’ve really had on the game. The Giants were stymied all afternoon by a strong Seattle defense, picking up only 177 yards. Their lone score was set up by Collins’s fumble runback to the Seattle 17, and they failed to score after the Richardson touchdown.