The Detroit Lions were doomed by a 99 yard fumble recovery by the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, a call many fans disagreed with. According to the NFL, though, the interpretation by Walt Coleman and his staff to not blow the whistle and allow the play to continue was the right move.
In a review of last week’s critical calls, the league’s head official Al Riveron hopped on a video and explained just why Walt Colman and his crew made the right call according to them. It had everything to do with judgement, and according to Riveron, the judgement on the field was correct in the play.
Here’s a look at the video explaining why that is the case according to the league figurehead:
“The officials rule fumble, number 21 picks it up. No one touches him, he runs it back for a score. Since we have not only a turnover but a score, New York gets involved and we review this play,” Riveron says. “We see plenty of space before the runner hits the ground. We see the ball up, and as the ball starts to come loose the runner hits the ground. There’s nothing clear and obvious to allow us to change the ruling on the field of a fumble.”
The mistake Lions fans felt the refs made? Not calling the Kansas City player down or blowing the whistle. But that is something Riveron said he thinks was a great job of officiating by Coleman that day.
“This was a great job by the crew by not blowing the whistle and allowing the play to continue,” Riveron says in conclusion.
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Lions Fans Frustrated With More Calls
The Lions suffered from a number of frustrating calls on the day, not the least of which was a hail mary pass which could have drawn interference. The league, though ruled that no review was needed of the play, which happened as the game expired. if there had been a penalty on the play, it would have meant an untimed down for the Lions inside of the red zone of the Chiefs.
Kenny Golladay’s overturned touchdown catch was another close call which did not go in the direction Detroit had hoped. Golladay appeared to squeeze the ball and get two feet down near the goal line in the back of the end zone. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but apparently referees found enough evidence on tape to overturn that call on the field.
Detroit vs. Everybody Again
The Lions simply add this rule application in their back pocket of bizarre calls that have gone against them in their recent history. Fumble-gate will now join the batted ball in 2015 in Seattle, the call on Aaron Rodgers’ last second pass in Detroit, Calvin Johnson’s reversed touchdown in Chicago, the debacle in Dallas and the mysterious 10 second runoff against Atlanta as either strange calls or rule applications that have gone against the team.
Unlike many of those games, the Lions hung tough and nearly pulled off a win, which offers some major hope for the future even in spite of what the NFL rulebook doomed them with this time around.
Though it won’t stop the frustration, at the very least, the league has finally explained the play in question which cost the Lions dearly last week.