NFL: Refs Wrong on Two Giants TD Catches

The NFL has admitted that, upon further review, its officials gave the New York Giants credit for two touchdown catches in Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

NFL: Officials got it wrong on two Giants TD catches (AP)

The Seahawks received rare word from the NFL that referee Larry Nemmers erred Sunday on the New York Giants’ two touchdowns in Seattle’s 24-21 overtime victory. “I had a conversation with the league, and there were mistakes that were made, which we felt at the time,” said Seattle coach Mike Holmgren, one of eight men on the NFL competition committee that oversees rules and game operations. The NFL said touchdown catches made by Jeremy Shockey and Amani Toomer shouldn’t have been ruled completions.

Coaches from around the league routinely submit disputed plays after games to NFL officiating chief Mike Pereira and his staff for review. They usually get a response midweek, though that response is usually never made public. And, practically speaking, teams usually get nothing more than a “sorry” if the league agrees with a coach’s contention, because results are not changed.

Sunday, with 1:14 left in the second quarter and the Seahawks leading 7-3, Shockey briefly caught a 7-yard pass from Eli Manning in the center of the end zone. Seattle safety Marquand Manuel then lowered his right shoulder into Shockey and forced the ball to the turf, though officials signaled a touchdown. Jim Blackwood, the replay review official, buzzed Nemmers, an NFL game official for 21 years, and asked him to review the play to determine if Shockey had possession long enough to constitute a catch. After a few moments, Nemmers emerged from under the hooded replay monitor beyond the sideline and declared Shockey did secure possession before losing the ball. The touchdown stood and the Giants took a 10-7 lead into halftime.

With 2:03 left in regulation, Toomer leaped high and caught another pass at the back of the end zone. Toomer got his left foot down inside the end line and then appeared to drag the toes of his right shoe into his left as it hit the turf. At least that’s what game officials concluded on the field — and what Nemmers concluded after reviewing Holmgren’s challenge to that call. That score, and the Shockey’s subsequent 2-point conversion catch, tied it at 21 with 1:59 left.

Holmgren said he was told by game officials there was not enough indisputable visual evidence to overturn either touchdown. “Look, I get excited about it, just like any coach would, especially if you think it might cost you a ball game. But it’s a tough job,” Holmgren said. “Officials have a tough job. They are honest guys doing the best they can. “You hope replay would help, if everything would function properly. And I would say 99 percent of the time it does, it works. “And then there’s a couple times for whatever reason, it doesn’t work.”

Fortunately for Holmgren, the Seahawks won in overtime despite bad calls accounting for two thirds of the Giants’ scoring.

Sadly, I narrowly lost a fantasy game because of Shockey’s bogus TD. Who do I sue?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    The Giants should give one of those TDs to their cross-Jersey rivals the Jets, who were robbed of a TD in their game against the Saints because of a bad catch call similar to Shockey’s.

  2. Mark says:

    Something tells me that this will not make Giants fans forgive Jay Feely anytime soon.

  3. Josh Cohen says:

    You think you got problems losing because of one of Shockey’s TDs? I lost 75-50 to a guy who is still starting Anthony Wright and Fred Taylor, whose other QB is David Carr, and who was, until yesterday, 1-9.

    I started Brady, Delhomme, Branch, Wayne, Boldin, McGahee, Cooley, Josh Brown, and the Carolina defense. I left 27 points on the bench in Joe Jurevicius and Samkon Gado.

    At least you lost because of a legitimate player. I lost because of David Carr.

    (although behind a real O-line, like Atlanta’s, Carr would probably be pretty good)

  4. jim says:

    My poor Jets can’t buy a win these days… at least Bollinger doesn’t looked as shell-shocked these days.

  5. Jeff says: