Jim Caldwell: Officials flip-flopped on would-be Darren Fells TD

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 6, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell yells at an official during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Lions won 22-16 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

A would-be touchdown from Darren Fells was all for naught in the third quarter during Thursday’s Thanksgiving matchup between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field, as a late decision by the officials reversed the call before the Lions could kick the extra point.

The decision by Caldwell to not rush his field-goal unit onto the field immediately after the apparent score was derided by the fans, as kicker Matt Prater wasn’t able to kick the extra point in time before the officials decided to review the play again. Fells was ruled to have not caught the ball, and the Lions had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Prater rather than a touchdown.

Embed from Getty Images

However, Caldwell didn’t rush his field goal unit onto the field because he didn’t think there was going to be a review. At least, that’s what he said the replay officials upstairs told him.

“You confirm it, you take your time, and you kick it,” Caldwell said after the game. “They review every single score, correct? That’s the rule. They review it, they tell you it’s good, so why rush? Our guys are just doing what’s normal. They were getting lined up, getting ready to kick and all of a sudden, boom, ‘Hold on a minute. We’re going to take a look at this.’ And that’s how it happened.”

Had Detroit snapped the ball and assuming Prater hit the extra point, Detroit would have been able to tie the score with Marvin Jones Jr’s touchdown grab in the fourth quarter. However, it wasn’t to be as Minnesota would hit another field goal following the touchdown reversal.

Detroit would lose by a final score of 30-23, dropping their record to 6-5 and effectively ending their chances at a divisional title.