Michael Crabtree was held by Jimmy Smith in the end zone late in the fourth quarter on 4th-and goal.
Or was he?
With just one minute, 50 seconds remaining on the clock, the San Francisco 49ers had a chance to go ahead with a touchdown. Colin Kaepernick floated a pass intended for Crabtree on a fade to the deep right corner of the end zone.
Crabtree never had a chance to catch the ball, though, as he and Smith got tangled up near the goal line.
The officials didn't call pass interference or defensive holding even though Smith appeared to have both of his hands locked onto Crabtree's arms.
Was the no-call the right decision, or did the refs blow it?
Turron Davenport thinks that it was a hold:
Jimmy Smith had an arm lock on Crabtree.Gotta at least give the wr a chance to catch the ball.Great game tho.— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDAVENPORT88) February 4, 2013
ABC-7's Lionel Bienvenu agrees:
Brutal no-call on defensive holding on former #CUBuff Jimmy Smith on 4th and goal....Crabtree got robbed...— Lionel Bienvenu (@lionelbienvenu) February 4, 2013
ESPN's Matthew Berry thinks that it was pass interference, but he also touches on another issue that's no less important—the play call:
Anytime you can have your dual threat QB not use one of his threats, gotta do it, right? That was pass interference, but bad play call too— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) February 4, 2013
The Tampa Bay Times' Stephen Holder thinks that it was a hold, but understands why the official wouldn't want to make the call:
By the way, that was def holding on 49ers last play. But I'd hate to be the guy throwing the flag.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) February 4, 2013
CSN Philadelphia's Reuben Frank agrees that it was a penalty, but thinks that the rules shouldn't apply that late in the game in such a big moment:
Yeah, that's a penalty, but I'm OK with the no-call with 1:46 left in a Super Bowl.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) February 4, 2013
Per CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, Jim Harbaugh adamantly believes that the refs blew the call:
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh: "No question in my mind there was a pass interference and a hold on Michael Crabtree on that last one."— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) February 4, 2013
NFL Network's Jeff Darlington comes at this with a more philosophical take to finish us off:
Perhaps it is appropriate, in a season that began with controversy about referees, it would ultimately end on odd pass interference no-call.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) February 4, 2013
So, what do you think?
Was there a penalty, and if so, should the refs have made the call?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!