Call it bad breaks, bad karma or bad circumstance, but don't expect the Seahawks to send the NFL's zebras a thank-you card at season's end. They were careful with their words after...
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Call it bad breaks, bad karma or bad circumstance, but don’t expect the Seahawks to send the NFL’s zebras a thank-you card at season’s end.
They were careful with their words after this game concluded in a 37-14 loss, after the latest in a series of flummoxing calls from officials went the way of the other team. Most pointed to the final score and noted it might not have made a difference.
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Most then started their next sentence with one word but.
“The calls, the officials, everything went wrong,” linebacker Orlando Huff said. “But that’s just the way this season has gone.”
The New York Jets are driving in the second quarter, facing a third-and-three and leading 17-7. Running back Curtis Martin plunges forward toward the goal line. He doesn’t appear to break the plane.
An official points both arms skyward. Touchdown. Or was it?
“I thought he didn’t get in,” Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said.
Holmgren challenges the touchdown, alleging that Martin did not break the plane. Officials review the play and uphold the call.
“It was ruled a touchdown on the field and there was nothing in the replay that indicated that it (the ball) did not break the plane,” referee Scott Green told a pool reporter. “Therefore, we stayed with the call on the field.”
The Seahawks are driving late in the third quarter, trailing 30-14. After the Jets stop a Matt Hasselbeck sneak at their 1-yard line, the Seahawks still have two chances to score.
They give the ball to running back Shaun Alexander. He also plunges forward. He also comes close to the goal line. He also thinks he scored.
The official’s arms never leave his side. Big stop for the Jets’ defense. Or was it?
“I was definitely in,” Alexander said.
Holmgren decides not to challenge the play.
“I wasn’t going to win,” he said. “My luck with the officials hasn’t been what it has been in years past.”
The Seahawks swing a pitch to the right side on fourth-and-one, and Alexander fumbles before he scores. Afterward, he admits he fumbled before he broke the plane, before he was even hit.
“I lost it when I was going to the corner,” Alexander said. “I was excited.”
Time is running out. The Jets are facing a first-and-10 at the Seahawks’ 17-yard line in the fourth quarter. Running back LaMont Jordan bounds off right tackle. Linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski strips the ball away. Ken Hamlin picks it up and races down the field for a touchdown. Or was it?
Officials rule Jordan down. Which wasn’t what bothered Holmgren. What bothered Holmgren was which official ruled Jordan down.
“It would have given us a little life,” Holmgren said. “It’s hard for me to understand how the official 40 yards away can make the definitive call, while the official 3 yards away can’t. I’ll always struggle with that.”
How much difference did the three calls make? It’s impossible to say and with the NFL fine police on watch, the Seahawks did not attempt to do so. That’s just the way this season has gone, they said, resigned to these wacky circumstances or karma or breaks if nothing else.
“If you’re not the best team, you’re not going to get those calls,” Alexander said. “If you’re on the road, you’re not going to get those calls. We should have scored. And I didn’t. We can’t worry about calls. We have to overcome them.”
Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or firstname.lastname@example.org