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Officials admit they missed facemask call on key fourth down play... or did they?

Another officiating controversy, hooray!

Wild Card Round - Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are on the wrong end of another controversial call. With the Seahawks facing a huge fourth-and-goal early in the game, Paul Richardson came down with an amazing one-handed grab.

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:

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:

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