Detroit Lions vs. Everybody: Watch controversial calls through the years

Posted: 11:30 AM, Sep 25, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-25 14:41:08-04
Detroit Lions vs. Everybody: Watch controversial calls through the years

The Detroit Lions lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday after the referees overturned a touchdown call that would've given the Lions the lead with 8 seconds left in the game.

Because of the rule, there also had to be a 10-second runoff, which means the game ended without Detroit ever getting to run another play for a chance at a score.

This was another instance of what many people say is the Lions getting screwed over by the referees or the NFL rulebook in general.

From "completing the process" to the punch-ball fumble, we take a look at the times the Lions seemed to be on the wrong end of a call recently.

It all started on Sept. 12, 2010 when Calvin Johnson caught a touchdown pass with 24 seconds left, giving the Lions the lead over the Bears.

The referees ruled the pass incomplete because when he got up, he dropped the ball, saying he did not "complete the process of the catch."

On Nov. 22, 2012, the Lions were beating the Houston Texans 24-20 on Thanksgiving when Justin Forsett had a run and it appeared he was tackled. Despite the fact that his forearm and knee touched the ground, the officials didn't blow the whistle, so Forsett got up and kept running and scored a touchdown.

At the time, you could not review a touchdown and when Jim Schwartz threw a flag, he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and the touchdown stood.

On Jan. 4, 2015, the Lions took on the Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card game. Halfway through the fourth quarter, up 20-17, the Lions threw a pass to Brandon Pettigrew. It appeared he was interfered with and a referee threw the flag. 

After the officials met, the penalty was overturned. At the same time, Dez Bryant was not flagged for running onto the field without his helmet. That would've given the Lions a first down.

In the next season, the Lions and Seattle Seahawks faced off. With 1:51 left in the fourth, Detroit was down 13-10. Stafford threw a pass to Calvin Jonson who fumbled it at the goal line, and a Seattle Seahawks player batted the ball out of bounds.

The referee ruled it a touchback, but the NFL rulebook, rule 12.1.8 says "a player may not bat or punch: (a) a loose ball (in field of play) toward opponent's goal line; (b) a loose ball (that has touched the ground) in any direction, if it is in either end zone; (c) a backward pass in flight may not be batted forward by an offensive player."

It's  10-yard penalty and the Lions would have had possession, first and goal, down 13-10. Instead, it went to the Seahawks and the Lions lost the game 13-10.

Just a couple months later, the Lions were up 23-21 on Green Bay with four seconds left. As the Packers ran the final play with no time, tossing the ball back and forth, the Lions were penalized for a facemask on Aaron Rodgers.

A slow-motion instant replay saw that Devin Taylor's hand never actually grabbed Rodgers' facemask and on the next play, the Packers completed a Hail Mary and won the game 27-23.

The next season, the Lions took on the Tennessee Titans and in the second quarter, Stafford threw a touchdown pass to Eric Ebron. He made a great move in the endzone, faking out a defender and stopping him dead in his tracks.

The referees saw it and thought Ebron pushed off, flagging him for pass interference. They scored on the next play but that was also flagged. Watch it happen here .

Detroit eventually didn't score a touchdown, which made the difference in the game as they lost by 7.

A couple months later, Detroit took on the Bears again and the Lions were flagged for hands to the face on an offensive lineman who never put his hands on the defensive lineman's face. Instead, the penalty should have been called on the Bears.

Finally, this past Sunday, the Lions and the Falcons faced off. Golden Tate's touchdown was overturned with eight seconds left after review, and a 10-second runoff left the Lions unable to run a play as the game ended.