The biggest touchdown of Golden Tate’s three-year NFL career wasn’t a touchdown at all. And the play heard round the football world Monday night in Seattle is the latest example of how the officiating situation this season is spiraling out of control.
Tate, a former star wideout at Notre Dame, had career highs in touchdown receptions (two) — his first of the season — and receiving yards (68) in Seattle’s 14-12 victory over Green Bay, but was the central figure in one of the most controversial endings in recent memory. After shoving a Green Bay receiver in the back, Tate attempted to wrestle away what appeared to be an interception by Packers safety M.D. Jennings after Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard desperation pass into the end zone as time expired.
Officials awarded possession to Tate, reviewed the play and did not overturn the decision. As a result, Seattle improved to 2-1 and the Packers dropped to 1-2.
After the game, ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters asked Tate if he pushed off on the play.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Tate said.
Players, coaches and fans on both sides took to Twitter in a frenzy of varied reactions. Packers guard Josh Sitton clearly disagreed with the outcome.
“Golden tate is full of [expletive] too,” he Tweeted. “Saying he clearly caught that is embarrassing! [Expletive] jokers!”
Fellow Green Bay guard T.J. Lang was equally upset, using the social media site as a sounding board.
“Any player/coach in Seattle that really thinks they won that game has zero integrity as a man and should be embarrassed,” he said.
Tate caught a 41-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Seahawks a 7-0 lead. He now has six receptions for 106 yards.
• Former Packers running back and Notre Dame alumnus Ryan Grant could be getting closer to an NFL return. The free agent was reportedly scheduled to work out for the Chicago Bears Tuesday. Matt Forte has an MCL sprain and his availability this coming Sunday is uncertain.
Grant, who has rushed for 4,016 yards and 25 touchdowns on 924 career carries, impressed in a workout in Detroit last week, according to reports. Fellow Notre Dame product Armando Allen is currently on the Bears’ 53-man roster and has negative-one yard on two carries this year.
• Arizona Cardinals rookie receiver Michael Floyd snagged his first reception as a pro in Week 3 for an eight-yard touchdown in the first quarter against Philadelphia. Arizona beat the Eagles 27-6 Sunday to improve to 3-0.
• After being named the best team in the NFL by most pundits, San Francisco was taken down Sunday, 24-13, by the scrappy Minnesota Vikings, which improved to 2-1. Second-year tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Ponder in the first quarter, and hauled in two-yard TD pass with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter to finish off the 49ers. Rudolph has 13 catches for 138 yards and three scores so far this season. Rookie starting safety Harrison Smith added six tackles in the win.
As of Sept. 25
Name (Years At Notre Dame) Pos. Current Team
Armando Allen (2007-10) RB Chicago Bears
Robert Blanton (2008-11) DB Minnesota Vikings
Sergio Brown (2006-09) S Indianapolis Colts
David Bruton (2005-08) S Denver Broncos
John Carlson (2003-07) TE Minnesota Vikings
Jimmy Clausen (2007-09) QB Carolina Panthers
Jeff Faine (1999-2002) C Cincinnati Bengals
Anthony Fasano (2002-05) TE Miami Dolphins
Darius Fleming* (2008-11) LB San Francisco 49ers
Michael Floyd (2008-11) WR Arizona Cardinals
Jonas Gray (2008-11) RB Miami Dolphins
Ryan Harris (2003-06) OT Houston Texans
J.J. Jansen (2004-07) LS Carolina Panthers
Derek Landri (2002-06) DT Philadelphia Eagles
Trevor Laws* (2003-07) DT St. Louis Rams
Kyle McCarthy* (2005-09) S Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Olsen (2006-09) OL New Orleans Saints
Brady Quinn (2003-06) QB Kansas City Chiefs
Trevor Robinson (2008-11) OG Cincinnati Bengals
Kyle Rudolph (2008-10) TE Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Smith (2007-11) S Minnesota Vikings
John Sullivan (2003-07) C Minnesota Vikings
Golden Tate (2007-09) WR Seattle Seahawks
Justin Tuck (2001-04) DE New York Giants
Ian Williams (2007-10) DT San Francisco 49ers
Sam Young (2006-09) OT Buffalo Bills
Tom Zbikowski (2003-07) S Indianapolis Colts
^ Practice squad member; * suffered a season-ending injury