The Detroit Lions were good enough to beat the Green Bay Packers but they weren’t good enough to beat the Packers and the referees.
The Lions fell prey to the zebras.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers stole a win from the Lions to improve to 5-1 and stay in first place in the NFC North. They got an assist from the referees who called a pair of phantom hands to the face penalties on Trey Flowers that led to 10 points from the Packers and a 23-22 win.
The Lions were cruising to what looked like their third win of the year and entering the discussion as NFC North and playoff contenders. Instead, the Lions were victimized by some egregious officiating that went against them. The inexcusable blown calls marred the end of the game and it could cost the Lions a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Rodgers was almost beside himself after this theft after the game. There is something to be said for getting the calls at home, especially when you’re the Packers, and especially when you’re playing the Lions.
But the first hands to the face call on Trey Flowers on third down kept the drive alive. Two plays later, Rodgers threw this absolute dime to Allen Lazard to give the Lambeau Field crowd a reason to cheer.
On the ensuing possession, the Lions needed points to respond to that score. Just when it looked like the Lions would benefit from a call, the referees dropped it by not dropping a flag. The league is trying to be better at calling pass interference but must have had their eyes closed on this one.
The missed call ended the Lions drive and they had to punt to Rodgers who you knew was going to find a way to get into field goal range. That is unless the Lions pass rush can get to him and stop the drive. That’s what happened when Flowers beat Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari but was flagged for illegal hands to the face again. It can’t be illegal hands to the face if the hands don’t make contact with the face
The Packers would have had to kick a 31-yard field goal with 1:45 left on the clock. Even if Mason Crosby drills the dick, the Lions would have had plenty of time for Matthew Stafford to connect with Kenny Golladay (5-121) for a chance at their own game-winning field goal.
Alas, the referees didn’t let that happen as the trend of inexcusable officiating marred another game. NFL media and fans were just as lost as Booger McFarland and Joe Tessitore on the Monday Night Football broadcast.
Let’s just start with the Hall of Famer himself, former Lions running back, Barry Sanders who voiced his displeasure with the officials. You know when the soft-spoken Sanders speaks up, it’s time to address the sorry state of referees in the NFL.
Credit the Packers for making the plays to get the win, but also expect the NFL to send a memo out in the next few days that they missed a few calls late in the game.
Unfortunately, Detroit won’t get the benefit of a do-over.