In Week 1, Detroit Lions fans voiced their displeasure over the NFL officials’ failure to call false start penalties on Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Jawaan Taylor.
Detroit fans had another beef with officials in Week 2.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith found wideout Tyler Lockett for the game-winning touchdown on the first possession of overtime. Lockett reached out to touch the ball to the pylon for the winning score, capping off a 37-31 Seattle victory, which was a seesaw affair the entire afternoon.
But many fans argued on Twitter that the game shouldn’t have ended with Lockett’s touchdown.
Seahawks right tackle Jake Curhan appeared to hold defensive end Aidan Hutchinson on the final play. That prevented the second-year defender from reaching Smith before he could release the ball.
However, no official threw a flag.
Seahawks Avoid Holding Penalty on Game-Winning Touchdown
Fans on Twitter get the benefit from seeing plays from every angle. With that advantage and the benefit of hindsight, it’s pretty clear that Curhan impeded Hutchinson’s progress to Smith by hooking his arm high by the pass rusher’s neck.
That’s the definition of a holding penalty.
Obviously, that’s what Lions fans expressed on Twitter immediately after the game. Other NFL fans on the social media app agreed that the touchdown should have been called back because of a penalty.
Fox Sports color commentator Greg Olsen, who is quickly becoming one of the best NFL game analysts in the business, argued that officials typically like players to determine the outcome of games rather than their calls.
Of course, the flip side of that argument is by not calling a penalty when the play obvious needs one, the officials are indirectly determining the game.
For the Lions, the non-call obviously had a huge negative impact. With no penalty, the touchdown stood, and Detroit’s offense didn’t get to the touch the ball in overtime.
Lions’ Dan Campbell Addresses Officiating Against Seahawks
If Lions head coach Dan Campbell was upset about the officials not calling a holding penalty on the final play, he didn’t show it in his postgame press conference.
“To me, it should never come down to that,” Campbell told reporters when asked about the officiating in the game. “So, I’m not using that. I’m not using any of them.”
There were a couple other instances where the Lions didn’t benefit from the officials in Week 2.
On a fourth-down attempt late in the third quarter, receiver Josh Reynolds fell to the ground with the ball thrown in his area. No call was made on that play either. Instead, officials deemed Reynolds fell because of tangled feet with the Seahawks defense.
On Detroit’s defensive possession before that turnover on downs, the officials flagged D.K. Metcalf for a face mask penalty in the end zone. However, it turned into an offsetting penalty situation because Kerby Joseph committed a defensive pass interference foul on the same play.
On the replay, though, it looked like Joseph only grabbed Metcalf because the receiver yanked on his face mask.
Regardless, Campbell had no interest in playing the “what if” game. Instead, he stressed preparing for the Atlanta Falcons, who the Lions will host next week.