Controversial non-call denies Lions chance of first win

Tue Oct 6, 2015 1:11am EDT
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(Reuters) - A controversial non-call may have cost the Detroit Lions their first win of the season following a wild finish to their 13-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday.

With the Lions trailing by three in the final two minutes, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson fumbled the ball one yard from a touchdown and Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright appeared to intentionally bat the ball out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.

By rule, it is illegal for a player to intentionally bat the ball while in the end zone.

But the Seahawks were not penalized, and instead were awarded the possession and the chance to run the clock out on their victory.

"It is a questionable play because it was a batted ball, but that goes upstairs (for review) so there's nothing you can do about it," Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters.

"What can you do? You're not going to cry about it, that's for sure."

In the aftermath of questions and head-scratching, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino issued a statement, saying: "Judgment call on the field. Back judge felt it wasn't overt. That's why he didn't call it on the field."

But most watching the play felt it was overt, including Seahawks coach Pete Carroll who admitted as much.

"He was trying to knock it out," Carroll said. "It's a very rare situation. It's unfortunate the official didn't know how to (call it) for their sake. You're going to hear about that one."   Continued...

Oct 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) breaks away from Detroit Lions cornerback Josh Wilson (30) during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports