Aftermath of Seahawks-Rams Game Prompts Criticism of Officials

Was a crucial call made incorrectly?

Charles Cross of the Seattle Seahawks and Leonard Floyd of the Los Angeles Rams battle against one another during the second quarter of the game at Lumen Field on January 08, 2023.
Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Did football fans witness “the worst officiated game of the year” last week? That’s what one source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in the aftermath of a 19-16 Seattle Seahawks victory over the Rams last Sunday. A Seattle field goal tied the game in the fourth quarter, and another field goal won it for the Seahawks in overtime — which under normal circumstances would go down in history as a thrilling game.

As ESPN’s coverage of the game reveals, though, these were not normal circumstances.

Schefter’s reporting cites “multiple executives and coaches” as criticizing the officiating on display in the game — and stating that they hoped that this game would lead to better choices when it comes to training officials in future seasons. Given that the Seattle win in this game also knocked the Lions out of playoff contention, the repercussions of assorted calls are felt by teams other than the two who competed last Sunday.

Among the questionable calls? A first down awarded after the Rams’ Jonah Williams collided with Seahawks punter Michael Dickson. There is, shall we say, some debate over whether this merited a “roughing the kicker” designation.

It isn’t yet clear if the frustration over this call — and the broader issues cited in the ESPN report — will lead to any lasting changes. But in this case, it seems like levels of frustration are certainly growing.

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