Per NFL rules, intentional grounding is to be called when a quarterback is facing pressure and throws a "forward pass without a realistic chance of completion."
That wasn't the case for Smith, who had a clean pocket and went to plead his case to head referee Alex Kemp. However, Kemp had already started to announce the penalty and wasn't swayed by the quarterback's explanation.
"I'm talking to America here, excuse me," Kemp said in response to Smith.
"I'm talking to America here" 😂— PFF (@PFF) September 17, 2023
Pete Carroll also disagreed with the call, and he was briefly shown on the broadcast exclaiming, "He ran the wrong route!"
Luckily for Seattle, the foul didn't negatively impact the drive, which ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Lockett. The duo also connected on the game-winning touchdown in overtime that lifted the Seahawks to a 37-31 win.
Ball don't lie.