By Ashley Scoby
The Lions got “screwed” Thursday night, according to former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason. The Packers were awarded an extra down after the clock expired, when the officials called a facemask penalty on Lions defensive end Devin Taylor. He seemingly accidentally hooked his thumb in Aaron Rodgers’ facemask before his hand slipped to Rodgers’ shoulder pad.READ MORE: Striking Kellogg's Workers Receiving 3% Raises In New Contract
“Here’s the deal: It was not a facemask and Detroit basically got screwed by a bad call,” Esiason said in an interview with Mike Stone.
But, Esiason doesn’t blame the officials for making the call they did.
“Since it’s a non-reviewable play and because of where the referee is standing, he can’t really tell whether or not Aaron Rodgers’ facemask got grabbed,” he said. “He’s got to throw the flag. He’s got to throw it because in real time, watching it, I thought that there was a facemask and then when you go and look back in slow-mo, you realize that there was no facemask.”READ MORE: 87% Of Michigan's COVID ICU Patients Unvaccinated, Hospital Association Says
Football, of course, doesn’t happen in slow-motion until after the results are already set in stone. With the way the rules are now, not every play is reviewable. A personal foul facemask penalty is not one of those that will go to the booth.
“Bill Belichick wants to make everything reviewable, and I tend to agree with him when things like this happen, because at the end of the day, the reason we have replay is to make sure to get the plays called right so that the team that deserves to win should win,” Esiason said.
And although Esiason believed that the Hail Mary never should have happened, he couldn’t deny that the Lions screwed up their own defensive formation.
Ezekiel Ansah, the best pass-rusher on the team, wasn’t lined up to rush Aaron Rodgers, and was instead on the perimeter. Six-foot-five Calvin Johnson, who has previously practiced in Hail Mary defensive situations, was not on the field. Head coach Jim Caldwell didn’t call a timeout before the Packers lined up for their bonus play. Esiason brought up all these missteps, and pointed out how brilliant Green Bay’s strategy was, before Richard Rodgers jumped up and caught the game-winner.MORE NEWS: Democrats Renew Push For Gun-Control Legislation After Oxford High School Shooting
“Richard Rodgers is told to drag,” Esiason said. “In other words, don’t get into the end zone. Be the last guy there because you want to be under everybody else. You don’t want anybody in another color jersey in front of you, so he was perfect, and what he was there for – he’s there to get a deflection, not to go up and get it like he did. But once he realized that there was nobody around him, that all the Detroit Lion players were in back of the Green Bay Packer players, then he knew that he could go up and make the play at his high point. He’s there to get a deflection, not to actually end up doing what he did. So the execution part of it was perfect by the Packers.”