Walt Anderson, who has been a game official in the NFL for 17 years, the last 10 as a referee, told FOX 26 Sports the play that won the game on Monday night for the Seattle Seahawks should have been overturned, with the Green Bay Packers winning the game 12-7.
Instead, the Seahawks won 14-12.
The NFL said in a statement today, while Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been flagged for pass interference on the game's final play, "the NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review."
Tate and Packers safety M.D. Jennings initially appeared to have come down with the football together after Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw the 24-yard pass into the end zone on the game's final play.
Anderson said he would have ruled Jennings intercepted the ball.
"When I saw the initial play it was pretty routine, that it was defensive possession, it was an interception," Anderson said. "Then I saw the officials coming in. I saw some hesitation, and I know that the first thought that then ran through my head was 'oh my gosh they are going to rule simultaneous catch' which they ended up doing.
"By rule, because it's in the end zone and resulted in a score, that play is reviewable. If video shows defense has possession of the ball, which in my opinion they clearly do, then the referee should reverse the call and make it a touchback. In my opinion that is exactly what should have happened
"I would have reversed it to an interception."
Anderson, who lives in Sugar Land, has been chosen to work in the NFL's playoff games for 16 years, including two Super Bowls and four conference championship games.
Anderson is among those NFL officials who are locked-out while the NFL and the NFL Referees Association negotiate a new labor agreement.
"To expect guys coming off high school careers and used to seeing the game at a small-college environment, to be able to make that quantum leap in a matter of months, is physically unrealistic," Anderson said. "Your mind is not going to able to process that type stuff.
"You can't let the pressure of the environment influence the decisions that you make. They are very methodical. They are step-by-step, and you train yourself for years to be able to work in that environment."