Last week, much to the dismay of Detroit Lions fans, the Seattle Seahawks pulled out a close win against the Los Angeles Rams. The 19-16 overtime game, was the official eliminator for the Lions’ playoff hopes. With the Lions set to play after, they beat the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football” knowing their season ended that night. Though, if the Rams had won, Detroit would have easily made the NFL playoffs.
Detroit Lions fans, take a breath, this one stings.
Many people were upset about the results of the Seahawks vs. Rams game, and understandably so. According to Adam Schefter, the lead insider for ESPN, the Lions, Rams, head NFL
executives, and the NFL competition committee are livid over the officiating displayed in that matchup.
NFL officiating is under scrutiny after controversial calls from the playoff-shaping Seahawks-Rams game:https://t.co/YagmJBvlV6
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2023
How the Detroit Lions were Brutally Eliminated from the NFL Playoffs:
Of all that occurred, the most controversial officiating decision was made on a running into the kicker penalty, late in the fourth quarter. With the Rams leading 16-13 with 8:47 left in the game, the Rams forced a punt that could have helped them seal the game. However, to many fans’ dismay, it was called back due to a running into the kicker penalty. This gave the Seahawks a reset of downs to try to win the game. The Rams argued with officials. They claimed the player was shoved into the kicker, which would offset the penalty, but the refs held their grounds. What do you think of this call?
What makes this even worse is that a league official said the ref that called the flag had no angle at the punter to see this unfold. No way of knowing if the player was shoved into the punter. Clearly an issue.
There were many controversial calls in that matchup. From Geno Smith drawing a late hit call without being out of bounds, and a blatant taunting called missed on former Detroit Lion Quanre Diggs after the game-winning interception. Another was not called after intentional grounding from Geno Smith.
Errors occur in the officiating world, but this game was sent to the NFL’s top brass, and they are livid. When a game has NFL playoff stakes like this one, it is important to be close to perfect. The officials failed to do so that afternoon.
“The Lions should be livid,” one source told ESPN. “It was an awful way for them to end their season.”
Even the NFL’s competition committee is aware of what one source described to ESPN “as the worst officiated game of the year.”
Just brutal to hear for Detroit Lions fans when they have no power to overturn these events. The franchise truly feels cursed sometimes. Even players like Alex Anzalone got in on the outrage. There is not much Lions fans can do, unfortunately. The season started rough for Detroit, and they barely had a chance to make it. But after the Detroit Lions bounced back like no other team, it is truly heart-breaking that their elimination came down to poor officiating once again.
Every year, I’m more and more certain I’m going to be a ref when I’m done playing https://t.co/Vdpz1QEf3P
— Alex Anzalone (@AlexAnzalone34) January 14, 2023
Still, a great season in Detroit leaves plenty to look forward to. Unfortunately, it won’t be this week as the NFL playoffs will go on without them. The team would have been fun to watch, but how they would have faired is unknown. With plenty of young talent and an energetic coaching staff, the Lions have a lot of promise. In time they will definitely have their chance, and with America behind them too. Hopefully next year, the Dan Campbell lead Lions can make a push to the postseason and restore the roar in Detroit.
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