With Detroit struggling to move the ball just before halftime and lining up to punt, Sam Martin booted the ball away in the face of a tiny bit of pressure. He looked to get hit, which led to the Lions picking up a free first down courtesy of a roughing the punter penalty.
One problem? Upon further review, there was no hard contact whatsoever.
Safe to say Martin could win an Academy Award for this performance, not that Lions fans will care one bit, especially after some of the notable problems they have had with the referees lately.
After the play, the Lions used the questionable call in order to march down and get a 52 yard Matt Prater field goal just before halftime, pushing their lead to 17-13 at the break.
Detroit wasted little time getting on the board in this game via the defensive touchdown. Ironically enough, a familiar face picked up a backward pass and rumbled all the way to the end zone for the Detroit score. Devon Kennard, a former member of the Giants, turned in the big play when Jarrad Davis stormed up the middle and blitzed Daniel Jones, who made a bad decision to try and throw the ball out of the backfield to his running back.
Instead of a big play for the Giants, the play went for a Detroit touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
Obviously, Kennard has to revel in the fact that he made this play against his former team. A few years back, Kennard elected to sign with Detroit in free agency, and he’s been another find by general manager Bob Quinn. So far in his Detroit career, Kennard has been a sack man for the team, putting up plenty in 2018 in his first season with the team. Kennard had never scored a touchdown in Detroit, so it was a nice feather in his cap in order to do so for the Lions, especially against New York.
Kennard is an aggressive player, so it was nice to see his instinct to score pay off. It was his first touchdown in a long time which was fun to see. Defensive players don’t usually get a chance to get in the end zone, and for Kennard to do it in this manner against his former team was certainly fun to see.
Detroit also got a deep score from Marvin Hall and found putting up yards and points easy against the Giants early on even without this help.
Lions fans constantly feel shafted by the referees, but in this case, they have to smile and know they were given what might look like one of the weakest calls of the 2019 season. There’s no question that Martin acted his way into the free yardage, something former Lions lineman T.J. Lang comically alluded to in a tweet when he saw it.
Detroit has problems with the referees at every turn, so they will simply take this type of gift any time they are able to get it.
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