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Questionable officiating mars the first half of Lions-Vikings

A lot of people think the Lions were on the wrong side of some calls by the officials.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The first half between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings was filled with a lot of excitement, and a lot of entertaining football, but some people are up-in-arms over the officiating in this Thanksgiving Day game. Here’s a rundown of the calls that seem to be viewed as the most egregious of all:

The sack-fumble called back

Without the aid of replay, this one seemed to be a forward pass, but it was ruled a sack and fumble on the field, and Haloti Ngata returned it near midfield. The Vikings challenged the call on the field, and this one was overturned and ruled a forward pass. It’s tough to say definitively whether or not his hand was going forward in a throwing motion, or if it was due to the force of the hit by Ansah that caused the ball to come loose.

The interception that was... and then wasn’t

On this play, Darius Slay was in coverage against Laquon Treadwell. The ball was popped up into the air and snatched by Glover Quin and returned 70-some-odd yards. Some of the angles the CBS broadcast showed didn’t quite reveal the subtle tug Slay did on the shoulder pad of Treadwell. This was a veteran move that plenty of corners make, and sometimes get away with, but it’s still pass interference if it gets caught by an official. Pass interference was correctly called on this play, but it was a stomach-punch to fans who were just told the previous play that the defense’s efforts were all for naught.

A’Shawn Robinson tips a ball, but the Lions are called for pass interference

It seems as though all season long, A’Shawn has been making a name for himself by getting his big mitts on passes at the line of scrimmage. On a crucial second down, the Lions were flagged for pass interference incorrectly after Robinson tipped the ball at line of scrimmage, which nullifies any sort of contact in coverage being called for penalty. Caldwell smartly challenged the play, and was rewarded as the referees reversed the call on the field.

Spotting on fourth down

After the Lions stopped a fourth down on defense, the offense followed it up with a fourth-down attempt of their own. Zach Zenner blasted up the middle for what appeared to be a first down. He was initially measured short, but replay seemed to show him reaching the sticks. Jim Caldwell challenged the play, but the replay wasn’t conclusive enough and the call on the field stood. The Lions had already used up their first challenge on the previous tip, meaning Detroit would go the rest of the game without the ability to challenge a call.