It's been talked about endlessly since it happened. But the NFL continues to try to blame the Detroit Lions for the illegal touching penalty on Taylor Decker that negated a game-winning two-point conversion last Saturday night.
It was an issues of who reported as eligible and who didn't, as referee Brad Allen incorrectly had Dan Skipper reporting when he ran onto the field, and not Decker. Despite clear evidence, which the league ignored in their tutorial video about proper reporting procedure, that Decker did what was required and Skipper did nothing to indicate he was reporting as eligible.
ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Rex Ryan nailed it the day after, eventually calling for Allen to simply own the mistake.
"This is a huge mistake. But the thing that bothers me the most is that we’re putting blame on the players. Stop, "Ryan said. "The players did everything right. So quit blaming, quit covering somebody’s butt and tell it the way it is. Be a man and take responsibility."
Dean Blandino acknowledges what no one else will about controversial two-point play
FOX rules analyst Dean Blandino, who once worked for the NFL as head of officiating, joined the Detroit Lions podcast this week to talk about the controversial two-point play at the end of the Cowboys game.
Blandino was asked about the Lions' obvious attempt to deceive the Cowboys' defense by having three lineman move toward Allen.
"The Lions did not do anything illegal,” Blandino said. “The Lions did nothing illegal.”
What about Decker properly reporting as eligible, which everyone except for the league and Allen will acknowledge he did?
“I have no doubt in my mind that Taylor Decker reported,” Blandino said. “No doubt because the play doesn’t work if Taylor Decker doesn’t report.”
Blandino had a final point that was nice to see someone in a place of prominence outside the building in Allen Park acknowledge.
"Allen saw Skipper come onto the field and went into autopilot … (Allen) assumed that Skipper was reporting, and he went too fast. That’s what happened.”
Blandino did add that “The way the Lions presented it was unusual.” However, he placed the onus on Allen for “going too fast” and not doing his job properly.
No longer working directly for the league gave Blandino full leeway to acknowledge the No. 1 thing about the controversial play, without recourse.
Allen made a mistake, then he doubled-down on it right after and the NFL has backed him all week in trying to blame the Lions. Blandino point-blank said what the league won't, that Allen botched the situation. The whole controversy over the last few days starts there.
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