Chancellor’s punch of the ball out of Calvin Johnson’s hands just before he crosses goal line, and the officials’ non-call after K.J. Wright bats the ball out of the end zone allow the Seahawks to improve to 2-2 despite a sloppy performance.
Kam Chancellor — and a non-call by the game officials — saved the Seahawks half of a yard from their own end zone.
The safety punched the ball out of Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson’s hands inches from the goal line with barely a minute remaining to preserve a 13-10 Seattle victory in front of a record announced attendance of 69,005 on Monday night at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks appeared to benefit from the officials’ non-call after linebacker K.J. Wright batted the ball out of the end zone following the fumble.
NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino told the NFL Network that the Seahawks should have been penalized for batting the ball out of the end zone.
LIONS AT SEAHAWKS »
Said Blandino: “Judgment call on the field. Back judge felt it wasn’t overt. That’s why he didn’t call it on the field.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said afterward that they caught a break with the non-call.
Rule 12.1.8 in the NFL rule book states: “A player may not bat or punch: (a) a loose ball (in field of play) toward opponent’s goal line; (b) a loose ball (that has touched the ground) in any direction, if it is in either end zone; (c) a backward pass in flight may not be batted forward by an offensive player.”
Seattle avoided an upset against the last winless team in the NFL and the Seahawks improved to 2-2.
The bright lights of ‘Monday Night Football’ couldn’t gussy up a sluggish game from the start. It took Seattle more than a quarter – and a few spectacular plays from its elusive quarterback – to open the scoring.
A sack near midfield looked to have taken the air out of the first sustained drive of the game, especially when two Lions defensive lineman bore down on Russell Wilson on the ensuing third-and-12. But Wilson squirted out of Jason Jones’ grasp, then shimmied around Ezekiel Ansah before turning his gaze downfield. His on-the-run throw hit Jermaine Kearse well downfield, and the receiver sprinted inside the Detroit 30.
One play later, Wilson found Doug Baldwin in the back of the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.
Kicker Steven Hauschka tacked on the extra point – and handled the rest of Seattle’s scoring duty on the night. Hauschka drilled kicks of 51 and 52 yards on either side of halftime, padding the cushion the Seahawks would need after Wilson cooled off.
Wilson was nearly perfect in the first half, completing 8 of 10 passes for 141 yards and scurrying for 25 more on the ground.
But Detroit’s ceaseless pressure eventually got to him after the intermission. The Lions sacked Wilson six times on the night, and forced a pair of fourth-quarter fumbles.
The bumbling Detroit offense couldn’t do much with the first, tripping itself up with a series of penalties. But trailing 13-3 early in the first quarter and with Seattle pinned deep in its own territory, James Ihedigbo stripped Wilson, Caraun Reid scooped it up and lumbered 27 yards to the end zone.
A nervous energy settled over the stadium, especially when Detroit forced a punt on the ensuing Seattle drive.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford hooked up with former Seahawk Golden Tate for a 22-yard gain on third-and-six deep in their own territory. Stafford hit Johnson for another first down, and Ameer Abdullah carried the ball over midfield with a 9-yard gain.
Stafford reared back and fired a dart to tight end Tim Wright in the seam. The two-minute warning saw the Lions camped inside Seattle’s red zone.
Then Stafford found Johnson at the 5, who hurdled Earl Thomas at the 2. Chancellor punched of the receiver’s arms at the half-yard-line, and Seattle lived to see 2-2.