This week we started a new series called “The history of...” In this series, we break down the history of the Detroit Lions vs. this week’s opponent. In there, I’ll write a paragraph or two on the best game between the two teams. This week, however, the best historic game between the Lions and the Baltimore Ravens cannot be confined to just a couple of paragraphs. No, we’re going deep into this 2005 matchup. Settle in, Lions fans, things are about to get weird.
First off, Joey Harrington was the Lions starting quarterback in this game. The Lions won this game by a score of 35-17. yet somehow Harrington only threw for 97 yards and had a passer rating of 34.1. He did throw a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions.
That’s not the only crazy line. Kevin Jones ran for 58 yards on an insane 26 carries. That’s a whopping 2.23 yards per carry.
The Ravens offense, on the other hand, had nearly 400 yards of offense—outgaining the Lions by over 100—and were still blown out.
The penalties, the ejections, the injuries and the suspensions
The Ravens had a really bad day. How bad? They committed the second most penalties in a single game in NFL history with 21. On top of that, Terrell Suggs lightly headbutted the bill of official Mike Carey’s hat and kicked out of the game. Carey later said
“He bumped me with malice in his heart and he was gone,” Carey said after the game.
Then safety B.J. Ward got tossed after bumping into an official while trying to separate an altercation between teammate Ed Reed and Lions tight end Casey Fitzsimmons. Though, upon replay, it looks like the official ejected the wrong player, as Reed was the one who grabbed the official.
It wasn’t all penalties and ejections though. The Lions lost Roy Williams to injury during the game and Charles Rogers got suspended earlier in the week due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The freak occurrences
Let’s start off light. The Lions really began to pull away when Artose Pinner scored on a 1-yard touchdown. At least that’s what the officials said. There was no way to find out for sure because there were too many guys piled on top of him to see if he was indeed in the end zone. There wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call.
Okay that was light, but here’s the crazy one. In the first quarter Joey Harrington took a hit while throwing the ball and instead of ruling the play as an incomplete pass, it was played as a fumble. The Ravens apparently didn’t notice this. Kevin Jones did, though. He picked the ball up while everyone else was standing around and ran it down to the Ravens 2-yard line before the Baltimore knew what was happening. After review, it was determined to, indeed, be a fumble. If you ask me, that’s clearly a pass. You be the judge:
This was really the highlight win of the season for the Lions. They went 3-9 the rest of the season to finish the season with a 5-11 record. They would fire Steve Mariucci seven weeks later. The Ravens finished 6-10. The Lions haven’t beaten the Baltimore Ravens since this game.