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Lions on Bad Side of Calls

I am not one to blame games on refs. Far more often than not, it is the fans of the losing team that will complain about the calls by the refs. Yet there is definitely a case to be made with the 2010 Detroit Lions.

Everyone already knows all about the ridiculous call in the opening week against the Chicago Bears. Every fan in the NFL and every player will say that Calvin Johnson made that catch and it should be a touchdown. By the written rules, that should have been a touchdown and a win for the Lions. Yet it was due to a strange interpretation of the rule that added meaning to the rule that is not actually written in the rule that turned it into an incompletion. Then the following play their should have been a pass interference call on Chicago and a first and goal situation at the one yard line. After making a ridiculous call to take one touchdown away, the refs made a ridiculous no-call on the pass interference to possibly take another touchdown away. That game can easily be said to have been the refs who took the win away from the Lions.

Then in the very next week, the Lions lost 35 to 32. Only three points. Yet the Lions were winning 17-14 in the second quarter when the Eagles scored a touchdown to take the lead with only 13 seconds left in the first half. So rather than going into the locker room at the half with momentum and feeling good, the Lions went in trailing by 3 points and the momentum shifted over to Philadelphia. That touchdown should never have been! It was obvious on the play that the Eagles receiver pushed off of the Lions defender to get separation. They were the only two payers in the endzone on the play, so there was no chance of the officials not having a clear view. It is a call I have seen Calvin Johnson get called for in the past. Instead of a touchdown giving the Eagles a lead with 13 seconds, it should have been a penalty. That no-call gave the Eagles 7 points (4 more than the Lions lost by), and the momentum coming out of the half time break.

Then last week against the Packers, on 3rd and 9 with 6:43 left in the game, the Lions needed a first down. Down by two points, they needed to move the ball another 7 to 10 yards to get in field goal range for a chance to win. Shaun Hill threw a pass to Calvin Johnson who had a defender draped all over him. The Cornerback was bumping against him throughout the entire route and still was shoving against him when the ball got there and Calvin Johnson could not hang onto it. There was no doubt of the pass interference on that play and yet, again, there was no call. With a 4th and 9, the Lions were forced to punt the ball and the Packers were able to run time out. Another ridiculous no-call by the refs when that very pass interference would have given the Lions a first down inside of field goal range. The worst thing is that this no-call came in a game when the refs called the Lions on 13 penalties and the Packers on only three. They were trigger happy with the flags against the Lions and when Green Bay makes a crucial and blatant penalty that would have let the Lions win the game, the refs kept their hands in their pockets.

Three of the first four games for the Lions ended in losses that could easily be pointed to a particular bad call or no-call by the refs that would have given the Lions a win. Not the simple no-calls where there was a possible interference or holding or something, but blatant penalties that were ignored by the refs. Yet they had the nerve to call Johnson for that ridiculous rule in the first game.

Again I say, the Lions could have won all three of those games in other ways. They made some big mistakes. The took a lot of penalties. The Lions played terrible offense in some games. They had their opportunities and blew it. Yet even with all of their miscues, they should have to lose the games due to their play, not due to refs calling the game wrong.

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