With under two minutes remaining in the game and the Seahawks holding a 13-10 lead, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson rushed towards the end zone and extended his arm to cross the goal line. The fumbled ball went into the end zone, and then was seemingly hit out of bounds illegally by K.J Wright.
Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) lies on the field with an injury in the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Monday, October 5, 2015, in Seattle.
The Seahawks’ defense held the Lions’ offense to 256 yards and three points but didn’t force a turnover until Chancellor’s game-saving play.
“The back judge was on the play and in his judgment, he didn’t feel it was an overt act so he didn’t throw the flag”, Blandino said.
The controversy – including the obscurity of the rule Wright violated and the lack of a video review – was a hot topic in USA sports media on the day after, but Caldwell said his team needed to focus on their upcoming game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Last season, Detroit lost a playoff game at Dallas after officials reversed themselves, negating what was initially announced as a pass interference call on the Cowboys in the fourth quarter.
Until well after that play, though, many of us were probably unaware of the rule that states the ball can’t be intentionally batted in either end zone. The play is considered a judgement call as to whether a player bats the ball or has the ball accidentally bounce off his hands. People, especially Lions fans, were understandably upset that the referee had not made the correct call, but the larger issue is once again the league’s overly complex rules – and the impossibility of all refs adequately understanding them. With Detroit out of timeouts, the Seahawks (2-2) ran off the final seconds of their second straight win.
In other words, the unusual sight of a stat box showing the Hawks putting the ball in play 63 times – and not once giving it to Marshawn Lynch – will become the norm.
According to the rule: If it was intentionally knocked out, the ball should have been awarded to Detroit at the spot where Johnson landed.
Jim Caldwell wants to turn his focus to Detroit’s next game – and he’s insisting his players do the same. “He’s just as good as all of us”.
On the Seahawks’ side, there was a definite feeling that while the defense played well enough to bail the offense out, the home team got away with one here.
Carroll acknowledged that the Seahawks were “fortunate” the foul wasn’t called. “We’ve seen it before, [safety] Earl [Thomas] made one against the Rams previous year, and this was the same kind of situation”. “It’s ridiculous”, he said at his postgame news conference.
But in the end, Free Press columnist Drew Sharp writes that the Lions really have themselves to blame for the loss.