The Detroit Lions snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the most dramatic of fashions last night.
Thinking they had thwarted a last-ditch lateral play by the Packers to secure a 23-20 win, Detroit inadvertently handed Green Bay one more chance when the Lions' Devin Taylor was called for a facemask penalty. Aaron Rodgers duly threw a hail Mary pass 65 yards for a touchdown on the bonus play.
The Lions were left shell-shocked as the game expired, but it hasn't taken long for one of their players to take to social media to vent his frustration - Eric Ebron using one image to sum up his thoughts on how the game ended.
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They do say a 'picture paints a thousand words' and Ebron was clearly trying to draw attention to what he feels was an unjust face mask penalty against his teammate.
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Taylor himself told reporters after the game that he "didn't believe" he touched Rodgers' facemask and the video evidence suggests there was only a brief moment where the defensive end's hand came into contact with the QB's helmet.
Playing by the rules
So do the Lions have a right to feel aggrieved, or is this just sour grapes from Ebron after the crazy ending to Thursday Night Football?
According to the official NFL rulebook, via NBC:
“No player shall grasp and control, twist, turn, push, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction.”
Despite what Ebron's screenshot shows, Taylor did, for a brief moment, push the facemask. However, as noted by ProFootballTalk, the same rule also dictates that:
“If a player grasps an opponent’s facemask, he must immediately release it. If he does not immediately release it and controls his opponent, it is a foul.”
Taylor couldn't have released the facemask any more "immediately" than he did.
Regardless of how you interpret the rule, however, the simple fact is his hand shouldn't have been anywhere near Rodgers' helmet.
The scramble play was going nowhere anyway, all he had to do was tackle him to the ground and the Lions would have the win right now.
NFL fans: Were officials right to call the facemask penalty, or did they get it wrong? Have your say in the comments below...
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