The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Detroit Lions 19-17 on Sunday afternoon.
While the big moment that everyone found themselves talking about after the fact was kicker Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal to win the game – that wasn’t what ultimately determined the final result.
DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!?!
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
Rather, what actually changed the course of the game was a terrible call by the referees that essentially robbed Detroit of victory.
With seven seconds left in the game and Baltimore staring down a 2nd-and-10 at the Detroit 48, the offense found itself in disarray. Although quarterback Lamar Jackson eventually got the snap off, it clearly came after the play clock hit 0.
The Justin Tucker game-winning kick from 66 yards never should have happened. According to CBS broadcast graphic, this should have been a delay of game on Baltimore on the play before the field goal. #Lions #Ravens pic.twitter.com/YnVOuC3KXX
— Jonathan Deutsch (@JonathanD_TV) September 26, 2021
For whatever reason, despite clear evidence to the contrary, some argued that Jackson got the snap off before clock hit zero.
Well, on Wednesday, new video emerged that should kill that theory once and for all.
In that clip, there is no room for interpretation – the clock was at zero. A delay of game should’ve been called, and Tucker should’ve been forced to kick a 71-yarder. Detroit likely would’ve won the game in that scenario.
This obviously isn’t the first case of botched officiating in recent weeks. The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the LA Chargers on a very controversial sequence; the Dallas Cowboys were beneficiaries of some very friendly calls; and the Philadelphia Eagles were pretty blatantly screwed out of a win two weeks ago.
Cowboys fans always dress to impress. https://t.co/NHedqEFGfq
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 28, 2021
There’s a reason why there’s so little faith in the referees that some folks legitimately felt like they saw Sean Payton pay off a ref mid-game. That’s what happens when the integrity of a sport is suddenly thrown into question.
While everyone can now see Detroit was wronged, ultimately, it’ll have no impact on the final result. The Lions are still 0-3 on the year and now sit at the bottom of the NFC North.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.