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5 Excuses Lions Fans Make For Sunday’s Debacle And Why They’re Weak

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints
Sean Gardner – Getty Images

It’s Tuesday and week three in the NFL is over, and yet still Lions fans are salty about what happened to them and their team on Sunday.

In case you missed it, it was a legitimate call that saw the Lions lose and a karmic comeuppance against the player at the center of it. Yet still Lions fans will not let it go.

In fact Lions fans feel emboldened today in their errant claims because noted Detroit Lions hater and sports talking guru in Detroit, Mike Valenti sided with the Lions fans on this one. Something he claims is a “one-off” thing.

With that in mind, let us once again break down the excuses and why they have no merit.


1

If this had been the (INSERT MORE PRESTIGIOUS NFL TEAM HERE) there wouldn’t have been a reversal!

 

 

Even though Valenti even used the whole “no excuses” bit in his rant supporting Detroit fans, he still threw this little nugget out and you better believe he was not the first one to do so. Maybe it’s an excuse, maybe it’s just moaning by the collective Lions fanbase. Whatever it is, it is wrong.

There is clear evidence of ball in hand, knee down, and player being touched before the breaking of the goal line. You want to see it again?

Screengrab courtesy NFL
Screengrab courtesy NFL

There it is.

I have yet to find a single frame like this somewhere else and then in the game in question the evidence is ignored because it is the Patriots or Packers etc.

The tape does not lie, Tate was down, no touchdown.

 

2

The referees shouldn’t be able to start the clock after they were the ones who stopped it!

 

 

I can’t believe this is still a talking point for people. It is how football is played. Ball down in field of play? Clock runs. Ball gets scored? Clock stops. What about a replay review (initiated by officials or not) makes this play exempt from that logic that has been standing pretty much the entire history of modern football?

Oh that’s right, because it’s happening to the team you love, you believe it should be that way. How silly of me to forget.

The whole point of review is to get the call right on the field and retroactively play the game as if it were correct the first time. The state of the clock is no exception.

 

3

The 10 second runoff is stupid! The Lions could have totally run a play in that time!

 

 

Maybe they could have, though as many (including former VP of officiating Dean Blandino) have stated, it is unlikely.

Even when the Lions official twitter handler said the team once ran a play in 7 seconds 27 yards away before, all you can really say to that is “congratulations” I guess. Because ultimately what you are talking about is outliers in a big pool of data.

If you have a problem with the rule in terms of how much time is run off the clock you should take it up with the NFL competition committee who looked at data and then set the rule up to balance out between the offensive and defensive sides of the ball a fair compromise as to what would have likely happened given the situation.

You can’t say no time will run off the clock because that is simply not true and way too easy a rule to manipulate into free timeouts when a team is driving down the field with no timeouts left (hint: Detroit on Sunday). But if you give it 15 seconds (and start with the reset 25 second play clock as is usual in a lot of situations) then you can say that is way too much time to run off in any circumstance.

10 seconds was the compromise, if you have a problem find a way to contact the NFL competition committee, maybe they can show you a graph or something to calm you down.

 

4

Atlanta was given the game, they didn’t really earn it!

 

 

Atlanta earned the win by scoring 30 points to the Lions 26, plain and simple. Golden Tate did not score to put the Lions over 30 points, and the clock ran out because of the mechanics and rules of football.

If Detroit punches in some more touchdowns as opposed to field goals during the game, these conversations are not being had. So why isn’t the offensive production under any scrutiny here from the fans? Even the last set of plays leading up to the Tate play should be called into question. Two badly designed plays resulting in poor throws to fight for the next down from Matthew Stafford

The Falcons defense, for as many penalties they accrued on the final drive, stopped Golden Tate short of the end zone on the final play that so happened to come with eight seconds left on the clock when it should have been running. Just because there was clock left before the rulebook legally and justly took it down to 0:00 does not mean the game had any less finality to it. You want a 4th and goal Hollywood ending? Watch a movie.

 

5

There should have been pass interference on the play!

 

 

 

NFL referees get a lot of flack for calling pass interference. There’s too much of it, there’s not enough of it, it is never equal between offensive and defensive calls, etc.

But here a no-call is the right call.

The Lions ran a pick play with Golladay freeing Tate and they did so within one yard of the line of scrimmage. That is legal. The Falcons defender also “jammed” his man within five yards of the line of scrimmage, also legal.

If you try to make the case Tate went down because of the contact, you are wrong. Tate was going down to secure the pass and duck into the end zone in one fell swoop. By the time the Falcons player got a hand on him to try and affect his path he had already caught the ball but was short of the end zone. You may call it lucky, I call it good defense. Whatever you call it, it was not a touchdown.

 

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