In the waning seconds of the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, a reversed touchdown call and 10-second runoff robbed them of their one last chance for victory.
Going into Sunday’s matchup, the 2-0 Detroit Lions knew their upcoming match with the 2-0 Atlanta Falcons was going to be a tough test. But in the end, the Falcons combined with the officials on the field were simply too much for the Lions to overcome.
In the final seconds of the contest, with the Lions trialing the Falcons 30-26, Detroit wide receiver Golden Tate appeared to score a touchdown to end a 89 yard, 11-play drive that would have seemingly given the Lions the victory.
The point of emphasis here is the fact the officials on the field called a touchdown on the play with just eight seconds on the clock. As is done with every scoring play, the touchdown was reviewed by league officials in New York. Their decision was that Tate was touched down prior to going into the end zone, and they reversed the call.
And due to the rules, a 10-second runoff of the clock was required in that situation. That was unless the Lions’ had a timeout to use to stop the clock. Detroit did not. Therefore, ballgame – Falcons win. And the NFL has once again bungled the situation.
"Rule 4, Section 7, Article 4: Replay review after two-minutes warning of either half. If a replay review after the two-minute warning of either half results in the on-field ruling being reversed and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock, then the officials will run 10 seconds off the game clock before permitting the ball to be put in play on the ready-for-play signal. The defense cannot decline the runoff, but either team can use a remaining timeout to prevent it. – Via NFL.com"
If the officials had made the right call on the field, they would have marked Tate short and continued to run the clock. This would have given the Lions’ offense eight seconds to get a final play off. Would they have? We’ll never know.
It was the NFL’s own officials that made the wrong call when they signaled touchdown. Their mistake caused that game-winning score to be reversed and the subsequent 10-second runoff. There is no two ways about it. A bad call by the officials robbed the Detroit Lions of one last chance to win on Sunday. And for that, they should be ashamed.