Last week, the Seattle Seahawks edged out the Los Angeles Rams in a 19-16 overtime win. That win officially eliminated the Detroit Lions from playoff contention, even though they still had a game to play. The Lions would go on to beat the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football,” meaning if the Rams had won that game, Detroit would currently be in the playoffs.
That’s going to make this next part hurt.
Because since that Rams vs. Seahawks game, there have been a lot of upset people behind the scenes. According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions, Rams, NFL competition committee, and other executives and coaches are irate over the officiating in that game.
The most controversial call game late in the fourth quarter. The Rams held a 16-13 lead and had just forced a three-and-out with 8:47 left. However, the Rams were called for a running into the kicker penalty, which gave the Seahawks a fresh set of downs that led to their game-tying score. The Rams argued that the contact was initiated by a Seahawks player, who pushed the Rams player into the punter. If that were the case, running into the kicker would not be an appropriate call. You be the judge:
Here’s the kicker, a league official told ESPN that the person who threw the flag did not have an angle to see that the Rams player clearly pushed the Rams special teamer.
There were other controversial calls from the game, including a late-hit penalty called on the Rams when Geno Smith ran into a stationary Jalen Ramsey, a clear missed taunting penalty on Quandre Diggs after what would become a game-winning interception, and a missed intentional grounding on Smith.
Mistakes happen in every NFL game, but this one reached the top of the officiating chain and they aren’t happy. From Schefter’s story:
Even the NFL’s competition committee is aware of what one source described to ESPN “as the worst officiated game of the year.”
Another source said this:
“The Lions should be livid,” one source told ESPN. “It was an awful way for them to end their season.”
Even Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone had to comment:
Every year, I’m more and more certain I’m going to be a ref when I’m done playing https://t.co/Vdpz1QEf3P— Alex Anzalone (@AlexAnzalone34) January 14, 2023
Leave it to the Detroit Lions to get screwed by the officiating in a game they weren’t even playing in.