The controversy continues.
On the penultimate offensive play for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night against the 49ers, Russell Wilson and Co. were faced with a third-and-goal from the 5-yard line with 15 seconds to play.
Wilson tried to find his tight end, Jacob Hollister, on a quick turnaround route but Hollister was unable to make the catch, as he was tangled up with 49ers linebacker Fred Warner.
NBC Sports rules analyst Terry McAulay was in the broadcast booth with the “Sunday Night Football” crew and noted that at the very least, the officials should have paused the game in order to review the call on the field.
"He's clearly got him grabbed, significantly hindering the receiver. This should be a booth review. I'm surprised they have not stopped the game," McAulay mentioned on the broadcast.
Coaches are not able to challenge plays in the final two minutes, as all replay reviews must be initiated by the officials.
NFL senior VP of officiating Al Riveron said after the game that the booth officials reviewed the play in real-time, but didn't feel the contact warranted further discussion. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wasn't happy about the call Monday morning and said he hopes the league takes a look at the sequence.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal explains why he considers the end of arguably the most exciting game of the NFL regular season a “failure” by the league:
“If the NFL is going to take the challenge flag out of the coaches' hands in the final two minutes of the game, it needs to make sure it takes the appropriate time to review such a game-altering play.
"If someone as experienced as McAulay saw the defender "significantly hindering" the play, it deserves a longer look -- at the very least. While Hollister initiated the contact, Warner is literally holding Hollister's arms down when the ball flies by.
"Taking more time to review the play and then letting it stand would have been curious, but a lot more understandable. There should have been more angles to see and Riveron could have broken the play down in slow motion.
"If the league office wanted to still stick with the call on the field, it would have looked like a questionable bit of execution by the replay officials rather than the failure in process we got. If this play wasn't worth examining outside the 20-second frenzy of a running play clock, it makes me wonder why exactly the rule was ever put in place."
The New Orleans Saints faced a similar situation after last season’s NFC Championship, in which a blatantly missed pass interference penalty resulted in the NFL allowing coaches to throw the challenge flag on plays with potential pass interference beginning this season.
Regardless of what the conversation might be, the Seahawks now must turn their attention to the Philadelphia Eagles for a wild-card weekend showdown, while the 49ers get a week off to prepare to host a divisional-round game on Jan. 11 at Levi's Stadium.