Ebron bemoans officiating: 'Every call is against us'

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions TJ Jones, left, and Theo Riddick watch as time runs out on the Lions Sunday in St. Louis.

St. Louis — The Lions trailed for most of the game Sunday, but despite the poor performance, an officiating error was one of the most popular talking points after the 21-14 loss to the Rams.

With 2:52 left in the second quarter, Lions receiver Golden Tate took a reception 36 yards to the St. Louis 8, seemingly putting the team in position to score while trailing 7-0. Instead, the refs threw a flag on running back Theo Riddick for a chop block. However, Riddick dove at the legs of a defender who wasn't engaged, so he should not have been penalized.

The penalty moved the Lions back 15 yards to the Detroit 41 and effectively cost the Lions 51 yards of field position.

"Every call is called against us," said tight end Eric Ebron, seemingly the most upset about the chop block and other questionable calls.

But, why does he think that's the case?

"Who knows," he said. "I wasn't here the past thousands of years. I've only been here two years, and I've seen it all in two years. It's just the way we're set up in Detroit.

"When you're playing here, it only takes one game to tell you exactly how they treat you here. When you play here, it's always more than 11-on-11. The term 'Detroit vs. Everybody' didn't come out for no reason. That's how it is. It's us against the world, and we got to play like it."

Lions grades: Poor marks for poor preparation

The Lions were on the wrong end of an officiating error in a loss to the Seahawks in Week 4 and a questionable one in a loss to the Packers in Week 13, too.

But, Ebron's stance seems to ignore the fact the Lions defense allowed Rams running back Todd Gurley to run for 140 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 carries, and the offense couldn't block St. Louis defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who had three sacks and six quarterback hits.

Granted, the call on Riddick was a big swing at a point where the Lions were trying to draw even after Matthew Stafford threw an interception that cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned for a touchdown.

As the teams ran into the locker rooms for halftime, coach Jim Caldwell argued with the officials on the field, saying he was trying to get an explanation. He didn't think it was a chop block.

"But that doesn't count," he said.

Among the other questionable calls that hurt the Lions were potential defensive pass interferences against Calvin Johnson and Ebron. On the Lions' last offensive play, a fourth-and-3 at the St. Louis 46, Stafford threw a pass to Ebron — after picking up a fumbled, early snap — and there was contact. However, the ball landed out of bounds, so it's unclear if Ebron could've caught it, though he thinks he would've.

"I didn't get my feet tangled; he ran up on me," Ebron said. "It is what it is. They can say we got our feet tangled up; I think it's pass interference. If it was us against anybody else, it would've been damn pass interference. Seeing as it was us, it was nothing."