A massive win for the Detroit Lions slipped away against the Green Bay Packers on Monday, and it was the officials who seemed to be doing most of the pulling.
Holding a 22-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter, a set of blown calls revived one Packers drive that resulted in a touchdown, killed the Lions’ chance at responding with a score of their own and set up a chip-shot field goal for the win for Mason Crosby.
Lions get robbed vs. Packers
First up was a “hands to the face” penalty against Lions defensive end Trey Flowers that turned a sack of Aaron Rodgers and fourth-and-21 situation into first-and-10 for the Packers in Detroit territory.
Subsequent replay showed that Flowers was holding Packers tackle David Bakhtiari’s shoulder pads, not his facemask.
The Packers would later score on a Rodgers touchdown pass.
During the Lions’ next drive, Matthew Stafford uncorked a deep pass to Marvin Jones that would have set up a prime scoring opportunity for the Lions. Packers safety Will Redmond defended the pass by draping his arm over Jones’ chest and arms without looking at the ball. The refs did not call pass interference on the resulting incompletion.
History repeated when the Packers got the ball back and entered the red zone, as Flowers was again called for hands to the face against Bakhtiari. Again, replay showed Flowers’ hands on Bakhtiari’s shoulder pads.
ESPN analyst Booger McFarland simply couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He probably wasn’t alone.
Flowers went so far as to reportedly demonstrate where he grabbed Bakhtiari after the game.
Add up those three missed calls plus a bogus unnecessary roughness penalty earlier in the game, and you have quite a few Lions fans correctly arguing that the officiating cost them the game. Instead of 3-1-1, the Lions are now 2-2-1 and in last place in the NFC North.
Detroit, other football fans not happy with blown calls
Quite a few Detroit figures and football fans were mad online after the game, including the best player in Lions history, a Twitch superstar who was born in Detroit and attending the game and the city’s paper of record.
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