The Detroit Lions lost a game on a miracle 66 yard field goal by Justin Tucker, inventing a new way to lose yet again, but the bigger story was another potential mistake by the referees.
Before Tucker booted his 66 yard field goal, which only cleared with the help of a light kiss off the bottom crossbar, a penalty was apparently missed which would have significantly altered the outcome of the game. A look at some tape shows the game clock potentially expiring well ahead of the play.
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Here’s a look at how things played out:
As a result of that, many of the more astute folks on the internet including ESPN’s Mike Greenberg pointed out that the Lions should have seen a five yard delay of game penalty go in their favor late. As a result, they may have been screwed in the end.
Here’s another look at the play clock apparently expiring in real time on the graphic:
It is possible the game clock live and on television was not synched up, but it seems as if this would be a drastic error if that were the case. Either way, someone is going to have to answer for what happened, because it sure seems a mistake from the referees as many are pointing out.
Dan Campbell Surprised With Winning Kick
To say the kick was stunning was an understatement. Detroit coach Dan Campbell spoke after the game and said he was surprised Tucker was able to hit the field goal all things considered. As he explained to reporters afterward, he said he would take the odds of a kicker from 66 yards to win a game.
Those odds, naturally, weren’t in the Lions’ favor, but it’s interesting to note Campbell’s potential strategy. It’s clear that he didn’t have any frustration with how things played out at the end other than the result for the Lions.
Watch Justin Tucker’s Field Goal Beat Lions
The Lions had the Ravens backed up on the last second drive, but a pass to Sammy Watkins got the Ravens in range for a potential kick. After the controversial incompletion, Tucker stepped up and drilled the long kick, hitting it off the crossbar to provide Baltimore an improbable 17-16 win. It ended up being the longest field goal in NFL history.
Here’s a look:
Obviously, Tucker had plenty of leg, but clearly, had a penalty been called, the Lions would have had a better chance to win given the distance of the kick. It’s unlikely that Tucker would have had enough leg from 71 yards to win the game on the same play.
Whether there was a penalty or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear plenty of folks feel like the Lions were once again on the short end of the stick from the league, potentially for good reason.