Did Packers TE Jimmy Graham really get a first down on game-clinching play vs. Seahawks?

The Green Bay Packers advanced to the NFC championship on Sunday with a 28-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

They needed clutch throws down the stretch from Aaron Rodgers to secure the win, including a game-clinching toss to tight end Jimmy Graham that barely eked out a first down.

In fact, some Seahawks fans will argue that that it didn’t.

Controversial final play

The play in question happened with 2:00 remaining and the Packers facing third and 9 at the Seattle 45-yard line. The Seahawks had one timeout remaining, meaning a first down would essentially end the game.

Rodgers hit Graham on a crossing route, and Graham ran for the line of gain, where he was tackled by Seattle safety Lano Hill. It was close, but officials ruled on the field that it was a first down.

Ruling on the field upheld

Officials called for a review inside the two-minute mark and upheld the ruling on the field, allowing the Packers to kneel three times to set up an NFC championship matchup against the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday.

Twitter was immediately flooded with images that appeared to show Graham down short of the first-down marker.

The yellow line was off

What many of these Tweets neglected to acknowledge was that the yellow line used as their guide was off.

The angle seen in the bottom left photo below shows that the yellow line placed by the Fox broadcast was clearly beyond the official line of gain designated by the orange sideline marker. It is not reliable.

Replay didn’t provide anything close to conclusive, so the correct decision was for officials to uphold the call on the field. Sorry, Seahawks fans. There’s not much of a case to make here.

“Had they called him short, then it would have been short,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game. ... That’s how it goes.”

Indeed. That is how it goes in the NFL.

Related: Aaron Rodgers through his career

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Aaron Rodgers through his career
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers during a game between the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on November 5, 2006. Buffalo won 24-10. (Photo by Mark Konezny/Getty Images)
19 October 2008: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) with center Scott Wells (63) blocking prepares to throw a touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter. The Packers defeated the Colts 34-14. (Photo by Allen Fredrickson /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
13 December 2009: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks for a receiver during the Green Bay Packers 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears at the Soldier Field, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo by Christophe Elise/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Jordy Nelson #87 and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after a 29 yard touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates at the end of Super Bowl XLV where the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, February 6, 2011. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - FEBRUARY 08: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers addresses the fans at Lambeau Field during the Packers victory ceremony on February 8, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Matt Ludtke/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: NFL player Aaron Rodgers and actor Justin Timberlake present the ESPY for Best Male College Athlete during The 2011 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws the ball downfield in second half action. The Colts defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-27 on Sunday, October 7, 2012, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Sam Riche/MCT via Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 22: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers poses with a fan before a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field on December 22, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Steelers defeated the Packers 38-31. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 16: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the preseason game against the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome on August 16, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 14: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the NFL game against the New York Jets at Lambeau Field on September 14, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Jets 31-24. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 12: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers walks up the field against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts while looking to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter of the game at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks away from Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after shaking hands following the NFL game at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Patriots 26-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 18: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers waits to run out to the field before taking on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field on January 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: NFL player Aaron Rodgers (L) and actress Olivia Munn attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/VF15/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 04: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on from the sidelines during their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on October 4, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 18: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to the sideline during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Lambeau Field on October 18, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green Bay defeated San Diego 27-20. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 8: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers passes during a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank Of America Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers signals against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Actress Olivia Munn and NFL player Aaron Rodgers arrive at The 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers passes during a NFL game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on September 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers stands on the field in the third quarter against the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a touchdown during the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 34-31. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: NFL player Aaron Rodgers attends The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) breaks the tackle by Dallas Cowboys defensive end Damontre Moore (58) during the second half at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. The Packers won, 35-31. (Jim Cowsert/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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Why is this still how the NFL does things?

The biggest grievance to be found here is with the NFL in 2020 depending on men with chains using their eyes to determine these marginal calls at full speed.

The means to create technology to come up with accurate spots in critical situations like this one has long existed. But for some reason, the NFL insists on remaining old-school for these most important of calls.

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