BY SPNW Staff 10:14PM 12/29/2019

Here’s NFL explainer on the final Seahawks plays

Here’s the transcript of a phone interview Sunday night between pool reporter Tim Booth of the Associated Press and Al Riveron, senior vice president of officiating, who leads the video review team in New York, regarding the final two Seahawks offensive plays in the 49ers’ 26-21 win at the Clink.

Q: Can you explain why there was no review for pass interference in the end zone on the third-down incompletion on the pass intended for Jacob Hollister?  

A: Based on what we saw (on video review), we didn’t see enough to stop the game. But we did review it.  We see the offensive player come in and initiate contact on the defensive player — nothing that rises to the level of a foul (that) significantly hindered he defender. Nothing that is clear and obvious through visual evidence. The defender then braces himself. And there is contact by the defender on the receiver. Again, nothing which rises to the level of a foul based on visual evidence. Nothing happens that rises to the level of a foul while the ball is in the air before it gets to either player.

Q: Can you explain what you saw on the final Seahawks play about whether Hollister broke the plane prior to hitting the ground?

A: The ruling on the field was that of a fumble and then recovered by the defense and run back, so we have to let the play play out. Remember, we start with the premise that the ruling on the field is correct. So we stopped that play and we look at several things.

No. 1, is it a catch? We confirmed that it was a catch. No. 2, does he break the plane of the goal line prior to being contacted and being down by contact? He is contacted. We see that he maintains control of the football when he hits the ground. Additionally, he doesn’t break the plane of the goal line. So now he’s contacted, he’s short of he goal line, and he’s on the ground, which means the play is over. There is no fumble. So we reverse it to down by contact and short. At which point there are nine seconds left in the game and the ball turns over on downs. The defense takes over. First and 10 coming out inside the one-yard line.


  • Kevin Lynch

    Interesting that there is no comment on the horribly egregious call that went against the 49ers. Hollister was short of the goal, as we all saw. The Hawks rallied brilliantly but the better team won. And they were the better team all season. But let it be said…the disastrous decision by coach Shanahan to not accept the ‘tie option’ in the first game created all the drama in the second. Never..and I mean NEVER… fail to respond to a gift. He was lucky the Seahawks were a foot short. We’ll see how the rest plays out.

    • art thiel

      I can’t see any NFL coach of a good team playing for a tie in that situation. A big underdog, yes. There is a logic, but as Herm Edwards famously said, you play to win the game.

  • jafabian

    It was obvious that Hollister didn’t score but the officials missed the PI call. I’m confused at how a delay of game penalty is called when the Hawks are on the goal line and Marshawn is ready to go. That got screwy there.

    • art thiel

      Carroll explained it a little better in the Monday story, saying Lynch didn’t understand until too late, and Wilson didn’t hear the play call right away. But yes, it was a screwy thing upon which to turn a game.

  • BB46

    What would have to happen to a receiver to lead to pass interference? Clearly a 2 hard grab which didn’t allow receiver movement and him to get his hands up to even try for a catch. It is true the receiver did initiate the first contact but he didn’t grab him and throw him away and out of his established ground. He did however establish his own position against the defender. Then the defender basically mugged him. Out in the real world the defender could have received some serious jail time for that play. LOL

    Yes,, last play Hollister was short. Pretty obvious there.

    • art thiel

      The receiver is allowed to move on the ball, so contact alone should not negate what Warner did. Bad call, bad defense of the bad call.