There were some questionable calls in the Seahawks-Rams game in Week 18, and it has basically been confirmed the Detroit Lions got screwed.
Ingrained in the “Same Old Lions” narrative is the idea the Detroit Lions also battle the officials. If a bad call can go against the Lions, it just does–seemingly automatically. The “you make your own luck” folks may have a rebuttal to that, and during this season’s closing run the Lions pretty much rendered any questionable calls moot.
Entering Week 18, the Lions needed to beat the Green Bay Packers most importantly. By kickoff of the Sunday night game, they would know if they got the help they needed to earn the final playoff spot in the NFC. The Los Angeles Rams had to beat the Seattle Seahawks.
As we know, the Seahawks eked out a 19-16 overtime win and the Lions beat the Packers to give Seattle what it needed to make the playoffs. There were some bad calls in the Seahawks-Rams game, but it was easy to set that aside and see the bright future the Lions have.
It has been confirmed the Detroit Lions got screwed by bad calls in Seahawks-Rams game
It’s always funny when sports leagues retroactively acknowledge bad calls which seemed to have decided games, as if anything can be done about it at that point. The NFL won’t necessarily do that on Rams-Seahawks. But it’s more broadly out there now just how bad the officiating was.
On Friday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter posted a story about the officiating in the Rams-Seahawks Week 18 game. He didn’t bury the lead.
"After multiple controversial officiating decisions in Sunday’s playoff-shaping game between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, multiple executives and coaches said the NFL needs to reevaluate how it chooses and trains its officiating staff for future seasons."
Schefter cited a source who called the game “the worst officiated game of the year.” Schefter cited multiple sources who said the competition committee was frustrated by the officating, the Rams were upset about it and the Lions were bothered by it.
"The calls benefited the Seahawks, hurt the Rams and ultimately impacted the Lions, who needed Seattle to lose in order to have a chance to claim the NFC’s final wild-card spot.The Lions should be livid,” one source told ESPN. “It was an awful way for them to end their season.”"
A questionable running into the kicker penalty midway through the fourth quarter gave the Seahawks a fresh set of downs, which led to their game-tying score. A league official told ESPN the official who threw the flag did not have an angle that allowed him to see the Rams’ Jonah Williams being blocked into Seahawks’ punter Michael Dickson.
In the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith drew a late-hit penalty on Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, which was iffy enough in some ways. But the back judge, who was right there (in the frame, looking towards the action) if you see certain replay clips, ignored Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf going after Ramsey and poking his fingers in Ramsey’s face.
In the overtime period, a pretty obvious intentional grounding on Smith was not called.
Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs made an interception a little in overtime. Far less than what he did toward the Rams’ sideline has drawn a flag for taunting in other games, but it when uncalled. The Seahawks started what would be their game-winning field goal drive without the negative impact of a 15-yard penalty.
A league official told ESPN not to flag Diggs for taunting was a judgement call.
Schefter added more juice to the equation.
"One source told ESPN this week that the NFL must do a better job of screening, hiring and training its officials; the league can’t have games in which teams’ seasons are on the line and have questionable and impactful calls such as the ones in the Rams-Seahawks Week 18 game."
Officiating mistakes happen in every NFL game, and it’s impossible to get it all right when the athletes are continually bigger and faster than they’ve ever been. When teams’ seasons are on the line, as they were in Rams-Seahawks Week 18, the spotlight gets brighter.
But the bottom line is the bottom line here. The Detroit Lions got screwed by some openly seen, and now openly acknowledged, god-awful officiating. And they didn’t even have to be playing in the game.