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Do NFL Refs Hate the Lions

All of my life I have been against blaming losses on bad calls. If you want to win, play better. Six weeks into the NFL 2010 season however, I am starting to wonder if the refs simply do not like the Detroit Lions.

At least three of the losses, I can lay squarely at Scott Linehan's feet for his lack of cajones to call a pass down field. The Lions have taken some injuries and most importantly, the players keep taking senseless penalties at crucial times. Yet there are simply too many bad calls or no-calls by the NFL refs at crucial moments in the games to hold the Lions back.

Everyone knows about the refs taking a game winning touchdown away from Calvin Johnson in Chicago. What made it worse was that they called it a touchdown then went to the replay and took it away after adding interpretation to a rule that is not actually written in the rule.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles had a passing touchdown that should not have been allowed. The receiver and Lions defender were the only two players in the end-zone, so the play should have been clear to every official. I saw it in the live action that the receiver showed off of the Lions defender to gain the separation that allowed him to catch the touchdown pass. It was obvious shoving off, and the announcers even pointed it out, but no flag was thrown. So with seven points the Eagles should not have had, they beat the Lions by a field goal.

In Green Bay, the Lions had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter when Shaun Hill threw a pass to Calvin Johnson on 3rd and long. The Packer's cornerback, Woodson, was shoving on Calvin the entire route and when the ball was thrown, he continued to shove him. When the ball got to Calvin, Woodson was still all over him. I saw it clearly. A bunch of guys on CBS Lions message board saw it and complained. Yet somehow, the refs once again failed to see an obvious penalty that would have given the Lions a 1st down in field goal range. The Lions would have had 4 more downs to move the ball closer for an easier field goal as well as run more time off of the clock. The Lions lost by 2 points.

In New Jersey, playing the Giants, the Lions had a few more bad calls. There was a penalty against Gosder Cherilus for illegal formation and when the announcers looked at the replay, could not see what the penalty was. These were announcers that favored the Giants the entire game mind you, and they did not see what was wrong with the play. On another play, the Giants hit Shaun Hill down below the knees, forcing him to fall forward. Hill landed on his left hand and broke his arm. No call was made. Yet earlier in the year, one of the Lions defensive linemen was on his back and from his back, reached out and grabbed the quarterback by the ankles. He was flagged for hitting the quarterback down low.

I am not even going to mention how the Lions could have won some of these games if not for the bad calls or no-calls by refs. I am simply getting tired of seeing refs ignore blatant penalties on the Lions opponents and call penalties on the Lions that nobody can see. The Detroit Lions players are not playing smart. They are not playing focused with all of the penalties they are wracking up. But the fact is, they are getting too many penalties as it is. They don't need phantom penalties called as well and they don't need their opponents playing on a lopsided field because they don't get called.

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