Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has blamed Sunday's surprise defeat against the San Francisco 49ers on bad refereeing decisions, according to NFL.com.
The 25-year-old downplayed the impact of returning wide receiver Michael Crabtree during the 19-17 loss, and said that the number of penalties awarded to Jim Harbaugh's side was the difference between the two sides at CenturyLink Field.
Sherman himself was twice called for holding on third downs, one of which led to a field goal after being accepted by the 49ers.
"We didn't project it to be this way," reflected the frustrated corner after the game. "We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game, and that helps you especially on third down.
"We will see them again, and it will be a different result."
The Seahawks were flagged for nine penalties for 85 yards, but Pete Carroll's team weren't exactly hard-done-by, with the 49ers also docked seven times for 70 yards.
On the return of Crabtree - who made his comeback following an Achilles injury - Sherman said: "It didn't make a difference.
"It didn't make a difference at all. The penalties, that is what made the difference today."
Victory means the California-based franchise are now 9-4 and the sixth seed in the NFC with three regular-season games remaining.