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Officials take a touchdown away from Lions

January 1, 2012 | 11:53 am


In the second quarter at Green Bay, Detroit's Titus Young appeared to make a beautiful touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone, hanging onto the ball and just getting his feet down before sailing out of bounds. The back judge ruled Young was out of bounds.

Although replays clearly showed the play was a touchdown, the Lions could not contest the incomplete call because they were out of challenges.

Had the play been ruled a touchdown, it would have been reviewed, as all scores are.

Detroit Coach Jim Schwartz was irate, flung his headset and had to be calmed by Lions center Dominic Raiola. Schwartz called a timeout, hoping the play would be reviewed, which it wasn't.

On the next play, Matthew Stafford's pass fell incomplete, and the Lions had to settle for a 30-yard field goal and a 19-17 lead.

Fox's Mike Pereira, former head of NFL officials, said there have been discussions over the years about changing the rules on doling out challenges.

"They changed the rule to say if you won two challenges you'd get a third," Pereira said. "But this is what I didn't like about the new rule. You can only review it from upstairs if it's ruled a touchdown. But it's in the envelope of the end zone. It ought to be reviewable both ways so you don't have to deal with this situation."

The Lions were at the center of another non-touchdown controversy last season, when an apparent touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson was waved off because he didn't hold onto the ball for long enough after making the grab and going to the ground.


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-- Sam Farmer

Photo: Lions receiver Titus Young celebrates a touchdown catch against the Packers in the first quarter Sunday. Young would have a second TD catch nullified by a bad call. Credit: Mike Roemer / Associated Press