Detroit Lions latest victims of bad calls

Steve Brownlee

As a Detroit Lions fan, you know what I have to talk about today — those calls on Monday night in the game at Green Bay.

Sure, at the time I was thinking how our Lions were getting hosed — again — but just as quickly, I was also thinking aloud, “Same ol’ Lions.”

You know, if our team can’t shoot itself in the foot, someone will do it for us.

Then on Tuesday morning, I weighed in my mind the headline for the story before I felt I was OK with “Packers get calls, win vs. Lions.”

That was considering that the hopefully unbiased reporting from the Associated Press suggested the headline “Packers get the calls, Crosby hits late FG to beat Lions” and I just had to shorten it up a bit.

During the game, kind of half falling asleep on my couch, I was actually surprised the first time when replays showed the illegal use of hands penalty wasn’t correct.

When I watched the replay right after the first call early in the fourth quarter, you could see the head of the Packers’ David Bakhtiari roll back when Detroit’s Trey Flowers stuck his hands up close to his face.

Only on replay could you really see that his hands weren’t on his facemask or neck, which is the illegal area. I wonder how well you can tell exactly where his hands are if you’re a referee, when you don’t have the benefit of slowing down the play or even seeing it a second time at full speed.

So how often is this incorrect call made?

Well, let’s put it this way — the AP had another story out around noontime Tuesday they headlined “Lions latest victims of NFL’s flag football problem.”

I doubt Packers’ fans would be willing to give Monday’s victory back and replay the fourth quarter — remember, they had to endure the 2012 call that was so bad it got its own name — actually two — “Fail Mary” or alternately, “Inaccurate Reception.”

It effectively ended the referee’s strike after that horrendous call, when (now ex-Lion) Golden Tate of Seattle pushed off on Green Bay’s M.J. Jennings before their supposed simultaneous possession of quarterback Russell Wilson’s Hail Mary that gave the win to the Seahawks.

By the following Sunday, the regular refs were back on the field.

Now onto the picks:


Today, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City at Denver — This is bad reverse momentum for KC, though the team on the two-game losing streak should’ve done lots of soul searching. Chiefs, 28-17.


Sunday, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta — Really, the Rams are trying. Against the Falcons that should be enough. Rams, 23-19.


Miami at Buffalo — You had me at “Miami.” Bills, 17-6.


Jacksonville at Cincinnati — You also had me at “Cincinnati.” Jaguars, 24-13.


Minnesota at Detroit — No reason to stop picking against the Lions for the sixth time (in six games) this season. Vikings, 29-24.


Oakland at Green Bay — Chuckie comes home to Cheesehead-land. But he’s saying, “Where’s Favre?” Packers, 28-20.


Houston at Indianapolis — Just heard this about the Colts — they’re the worst team in the league at defending passes made out of the pocket. Guess who has just about the best running quarterback in the league? Texans, 27-20.


Arizona at New York Giants — Sure, the Giants got dominated by New England. But the Cardinals are not the Patriots of the west. Giants, 23-19.


San Francisco at Washington — The one-game bounce the Redskins got from firing Jay Gruden is officially over. 49ers, 30-17.


Sunday, 4 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee — The Chargers have come to realize it’s a lot easier finding ways to lose than ways to win, especially since the opposition has a vested interest in it. Titans, 20-17.


New Orleans at Chicago — If defenses and special teams weren’t allowed to score, I would seriously consider a 2-0 final score here. Wait, a safety is a defensive score too. Shucks, that’s goose eggs for all. Saints, 21-14.


Baltimore at Seattle — The Seahawks’ improvement at home may also translate into less success at home. That’s the thinking anyway. Ravens, 23-20.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Philadelphia at Dallas — I’ve known how about the injuries that have decimated Philly, but I just heard this week that they’re taking an even worse toll on the Cowboys. Eagles, 29-23.


Monday, 8:15 p.m.

New England at New York Jets — I’m sure Jets’ fans have visions of grandeur after the return of QB Sam Darnold and Sunday’s upset of Dallas. Reality check time. Patriots, 28-7.


Last week — 11-3, 79 percent. Season — 61-30-1, 67 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.