Tavon Wilson had tight coverage on the play and there was a lot of contact, so it was no surprise that there was a flag on the play. Wilson was tagged for pass interference, the Seahawks declined and the touchdown stood.
However, replay showed that Richardson had grabbed and twisted Wilson’s facemask fiercely, clearly inhibiting Wilson’s ability to find the ball and make a play. Take a look.
This play looks very familiar to the play two weeks ago in which Dez Bryant caught a touchdown pass while also grabbing the facemask of his defender:
NBC’s Michelle Tafoya asked Jim Caldwell about the penalty after halftime, and apparently the officials knew they made a mistake:
Per NBC, officials admitted they got the facemask wrong to Jim Caldwell.— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) January 8, 2017
Of course, that explanation does the Lions no good. The play should have had offsetting penalties and the Seahawks should have had to earn that touchdown again on another fourth down play. Instead, score stood, and the Seahawks took a 10-3 lead into the half.
UPDATE: After the game, head official Brad Allen denied the report from NBC’s Tafoya:
Brad Allen says no one from the staff apologized to Caldwell, per pool report. Not sure where NBC got that— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) January 8, 2017