First, the “Fail Mary" and now the “illegal bat”. The Seattle Seahawks are once again the beneficiaries of a controversial non-call at CenturyLink Field.
Kam Chancellor made a game saving strip of the ball out of the clutches of Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, just before he attempted to extend the ball over the goal line for a go-ahead touchdown with 1:47 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
KJ Wright, instead of recovering the ball in the end zone, decided to bat the ball out of bounds - a play which should have resulted in a penalty and enabled the Lions to retain possession of the ball with an automatic first down. The officials ruled the play a touchback, denying the Lions an attempt at their first win of the season.
“You can’t bat the ball in any direction in the end zone, either end zone,” Blandino said. “K.J. Wright batted the football. That is a foul for an illegal bat. The back judge was on the play. In his judgment, he didn’t feel it was an overt act so he didn’t throw the flag. Looking at the replays, it did look like a bat. And so the enforcement would be basically we’d go back to the spot of the fumble and Detroit would keep the football.”
The "Fail Mary" in 2012 led to the NFL immediately settling the contract dispute with veteran officials. Will this missed call be the catalyst for change in the NFL? Will these game deciding plays be reviewable next season? Regardless, Lions fans are once again fuming over a bad call and the Seahawks are quietly cheering another bad call.