Sep 21, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker (83) carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
After the Denver Broncos’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field last Sunday, much was made of some bad officiating late in the game, specifically on an illegal hit to Wes Welker by arguably the best safety in the league, Earl Thomas.
We laid out in an article the evidence that the Seahawks committed a foul on Kam Chancellor’s game-altering interception, one that propelled Seattle to an 8-point lead and forced the Broncos to go for a desperation tie rather than take a late-fourth quarter lead.
As Chancellor completed the act of a catch, Wes Welker’s head was being hit by Earl Thomas’ forearm and front of his head. The folks at Pro Football Talk tried to spread lies from their sources in the league who said the play by Thomas was not currently a penalty, but could be one in 2015.
We looked up the official rule, and by rule, Welker was a defenseless player being illegally hit in the head by the forearm of a defender. The play, though certainly one that should have been in Seattle’s favor due to a poor throw by Peyton Manning, should have resulted in the Broncos being bailed out on an unnecessary roughness call that would have given them 15 yards and the ball well within scoring range with less than three minutes remaining and a five point deficit.
Welker himself was pleading for a flag, and still believes there should have been one, though he knows that is well out of his control. He was asked by the Denver Post whether or not a fine for Thomas would ease his frustration over the situation.
"“Obviously, a fine does us no good at all. I would have liked the flag, but that’s the way it goes. I am not looking for a fine,” Welker said. “He’s trying to make a play like everyone else. At the end of the day we have no say on it.”"
It’s a tough situation for everyone to have to watch and wonder what could have been. It didn’t lose the Broncos the game, but it should have benefit them and the officials got this one wrong. I am not a big believer in blaming the officials for any loss (unless you’re watching the 2012 Packers-Seahawks contest), so I’m not going to start now.
But Wes Welker and I agree. There should have been a flag.