The 49ers have been on the wrong end of at least two blown calls by the officials during Sunday's NFC Championship Game. The latest came when Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had the ball stripped by linebacker NaVorro Bowman at San Francisco's one-yard line. The Seahawks went on to beat the 49ers 23-17.
Replays showed Bowman with clear possession of the ball as he went to the ground. Unfortunately, the play was called a fumble on the field, and as former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira pointed out on the Fox telecast, "If [the officials] call it a fumble, who recovers it in the field of play is not reviewable. ... This is the second time this has happened this year and I've been told that [the league] will look to make this reviewable."
Even worse: Bowman's left knee was pinned under Kearse as he went to the ground and he left the field on a stretcher.
Karma doesn't need replay, however. On 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line, Marshawn Lynch mishandled the handoff and the 49ers ended up with the ball on their own 15-yard line. (Of course, two plays later, Colin Kaepernick threw an interception so ... who the hell knows what to make of this.)
Earlier in the half, a Seahawks rusher should have been flagged for roughing the kicker, a 15-yard penalty, because he contacted punter Andy Lee's plant foot.
The call on the field: Running into the kicker, which is just a five-yard penalty. The 49ers ended up declining it because there is no automatic first down for running into the kicker.
For 1, the kicking foot is 5yd, but plant leg is 15... RT @wedgeofcheese how do refs differentiate between running into and roughing?— Football Zebras.com (@footballzebras) January 20, 2014
.GIF via FanSided