The Detroit Lions lost a gut-wrenching matchup against the Green Bay Packers tonight at Lambeau Field by a 23-22 final score after a last second Mason Crosby field goal sealed the win for the home squad.
But what Lions fans will once again be talking about is questionable officiating that had a direct outcome on the game.
With the Lions leading 22-13, Kevin Strong sacked Aaron Rodgers on a third-and-10 play early in the fourth quarter. But it was all for naught as Lions defensive end Trey Flowers was penalized illegal use of the hands, cancelling out the sack and stunning everyone wearing Honolulu blue.
Three plays later, the Packers were back to within two points after Rodgers found Allen Lazard with a 35-yard TD pass.
— Kevin Boilard (@KevinBoilard) October 15, 2019
But the more painful gut punch came on what would be the game-winning drive for Green Bay, when Flowers was once again called for illegal use of the hands, giving the Packers an automatic first down and setting up the game-winning field goal.
Even color commentator Booger McFarland couldn't believe it.
“Again, that's a terrible call,” he exclaimed. “That's twice in crucial situations that the refs have blown the call.”
As the replay continued in slow motion, it clearly showed that Flowers leveraged his hands near the shoulder pads of a Packers offensive lineman. McFarland was incredulous, and said that the play should be reviewable.
“He's nowhere near the face! He's on the shoulder pad!” he exclaimed. “That's a bad call, that can't happen!”
And to let everyone know just how costly and egregious the call on the field was, he made sure to let the national audience know that this was the first time that Flowers had ever been penalized for illegal use of the hands.
“He's never been called for illegal use of the hands before in his career before tonight,” he said. “Let's make sure America knows that.”