By Danny Cox
On Monday night, the Detroit Lions were driving down the field and looking to either tie the game against the Seattle Seahawks or possibly go ahead for the win. It looked as if they were about to do the latter, but a fumble and bad call resulted in them picking up yet another loss. Now, the focus is no longer on their play, but they want it to be.
Lions head coach Jim Caldwell knows that his players are upset at the horrible start to the 2015 NFL regular season, but the batted ball controversy is where things are focused right now. They’ve dealt with bad calls in the past, including a pass interference reversal against Dallas last year.
Some players may be thinking that this can’t keep happening to them and that they’re simply dealing with a string of bad luck where nothing can go right. They’re legitimate thoughts, but Glover Quin knows that the Lions have to get themselves into positions where bad luck and non-calls won’t affect them.
“We just got to make sure that we blowing teams out so those calls don’t affect it.”
He’s right. Quin is extremely right, but the Lions aren’t doing that.
So far this season, the Detroit Lions are consistently playing only half a game or 45 minutes of a game or even just 55 minutes of a game. They aren’t playing a full and solid 60 minutes to secure victories and then get ready to prepare for the next week. They’re honestly just a couple of plays away from being 4-0 or at the very worst, 3-1.
Yes, the situation with the batted ball non-call on Monday Night Football is a big one.
Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson was driving for the end zone and had the ball jarred from his arm at the one-yard-line. Seahawks defender K.J. Wright ran up to the ball bouncing around in the end zone and batted it out of the back and ended the play.
The play was over, but the call shouldn’t have been a touchback and the ball was given to the Seahawks at the 20-yard-line. It was an illegal bat of the ball and the football should have gone back to the Lions. That didn’t end up happening, but then again…Detroit never should have allowed themselves to get in that position.
Johnson should have held onto the ball. The score never should have been that close. Detroit never should have had to come from behind. All of those things are what the Lions can control, and that is what needs to be focused on. The missed calls and bad calls can’t be controlled, but the Lions believe that referees making the correct calls is extremely important.
“It should be a big emphasis for everybody, for the whole league to just get calls right,” Johnson said. “If there’s an opportunity to get it right, you should take the opportunity.”
Like Quin, Johnson is also right. Still, the Detroit Lions have got to make sure that they are doing everything that can to make up for mistakes out of their control. If they do that, they can get the title of “last remaining winless team in the NFL” off of their backs.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.