NFL rules strike again.
This time, it helped to reverse the Seahawks’ miraculous recovery by kicking in the very last minute of their “Monday Night Football” game against the Washington Soccer Team. If Seattle’s recovery holds up, that would allow Russell Wilson to try to win the game, down 17-15, after scoring late on (but failing in his attempt to convert to 2 points) .
Unfortunately for Seattle, the call was turned upside down even though Gavin Heslop appeared to recover the kick 10 yards from the tee, the minimum distance the ball had to travel for the kicking team to recover. Get the ball don’t touch it first. .
This is the proper rule, laid down in Section 6-1-3 of the NFL rule book:
“At least two players (not a holder) must be lined up between the touchline and the bottom (outside) of the line, and at least two players (not a holder) must be the middle row (inside) of the yard-line and the inbounds lines.”
As Twitter account Football Zebras noted in the tweet below, Seattle doesn’t meet that criteria because it has only one player – rerun Josh Johnson – lined up between the pound sign and the number marker. If winger Nick Bellore – the offending player in the illegal penalty – lines up across his right, the game will count.
At the start of the match, at least two players must be placed between the line and the numbers, and at least two other players must be placed between the numbers and the pound sign. Only one player on the team is kicking in between the hashes and the numbers: the illegal squad. Great catch pic.twitter.com/8yMbYoI32S
– F Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) November 30, 2021
So there you have it: A dreary verdict, perhaps, but one that’s clearly laid out and defined by the NFL.
It was a devastating end for the Seahawks, who nearly restored the kick effort the second after. With the loss, they fell to 3-8 in the season. It’s also tough considering the Seahawks finally scored – albeit too late – after five consecutive hits in the second half, four of which were trebles.
Wilson led Seattle on a 10-way, 96-yard touchdown in 2:04 of game time to put Seattle in position to score two points with 15 seconds left. But an interception by WFT’s Kendall Fuller during the game forced Seattle to make an effort from the start. It’s also important to note that the Seahawks are only in that position because Washington Soccer team coach Ron Rivera chose to make a late touchdown instead of scoring on the field.
Initially, the game was considered a touchdown, but officials overturned it after they determined Logan Thomas had failed to complete a catch at the line. That decision nearly made the WFT win. The Seahawks are just a yard away from claiming it.