The Detroit Lions getting jobbed by the refs is something we have seen way too often over the years.
The latest screwjob came in Week 17 of the 2020 season as the Lions took on the Minnesota Vikings.
That screw-job took place in the fourth quarter with the Lions trailing 31-29. As you can see below, the play happened when Lions DB Tracy Walker sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and was then called for what is quite possibly the worst roughing the passer call in the history of football.
#MINvsDET | 📺 FOX pic.twitter.com/g0zwOt0gOi
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) January 3, 2021
Following the call, everybody and their brother (including Kelly Stafford) took to social media to blast the NFL officials for the call, and now, that call could end up changing the league's replay rules.
With the Annual League (virtual) Meeting coming at the end of the month, owners could vote to approve a new rule change to make roughing the passer reviewable by replay, according to NFL Network's Judy Battista. The potential for implementation immediately calls to mind the league's failed experiment with pass interference replay review, which Battista pointed out could be a preview of how owners consider this proposal.
If our one-year dance with pass interference review taught us anything, it's we should hope that roughing the passer is better defined — or more aggressively reviewed — than pass interference was. The league encountered a stretch of about a half of a season in which pass interference replay reviews were overturned so infrequently, coaches simply stopped even considering throwing the red challenge flag on questionable plays. A second half with much more aggressive reviews brought things closer to even, but it was too little, too late.
There is a reason for the consideration of reviewing roughing the passer, though. One needn't look further than a late-season affair involving the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, a game that was largely inconsequential for the postseason race but encountered a game-changing twist when a takedown of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins drew a flag for roughing. The penalty wiped out Minnesota's fourth-and-goal failure and gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs, resulting in a touchdown that proved to be the game's deciding score.
Nation, is it a no-brainer to change this replay rule?