Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson caught the ball with one hand and appeared to grab the defender's facemask with the other hand.
The first Seahawks’ touchdown against the Lions was also a controversial one. Receiver Paul Richardson’s amazing one-handed catch in the end zone was controversial because his other hand appeared to grab the defender’s facemask.
The controversy grew legs when NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya reported at halftime that Lions coach Jim Caldwell told her the refs admitted they got the call wrong.
“I talked to Jim Caldwell at halftime and I asked him about the Paul Richardson touchdown you just referred to,” Tafoya said, according to CBSSports.com. “The facemask that wasn’t called — I asked him what the officials told him about that no call and he told me, simply, ‘They said they got it wrong.'”
Referee Brad Allen told a pool reporter after the game that he did not tell Caldwell that the officials should have called a facemask penalty on Richardson.
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“I’m not aware that any on-field game official told coach Caldwell that,” Allen said.
Allen was asked whether the penalty should have or could have been called.
“First of all, that’s not my coverage because my responsibility obviously is in the backfield with the quarterback,” Allen said. “There were covering officials there who did not rule that there was a facemask on the play. They did rule defensive pass interference, but every play is subject to review by the league.”
Richardson said after the game that he didn’t know if he grabbed the defender’s facemask.
“I was locked in on the ball,” Richardson said. “All I know is I saw the ball in the air, I reached for it, I grabbed it and we got six points.”
Richardson’s touchdown gave the Seahawks a 7-0 lead in what was a sluggish and tightly contested first half.