Allen Park — The Detroit Lions were flagged for 17 penalties against the Tennessee Titans, and while replays confirm the majority of the calls were correct, video evidence did not support an offensive pass interference infraction called against tight end Eric Ebron, which negated his second-quarter touchdown reception.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell rarely comments on officiating, but he didn’t agree with that particular flag.
“I didn’t think so, but I’m not making the call either,” Caldwell said during his Monday press conference.
Not only did Ebron’s penalty wipe out the score, but Detroit had another touchdown erased on the ensuing snap by a holding penalty. A third infraction turned what had been a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line to a first-and-goal from the 26. The team ultimately settled for a Matt Prater field goal.
“The refs made the call that they believed what it was, and we have to live with it, deal with it, done with that,” Ebron said. “At the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s no touchdown on that stat sheet.”
Beyond the offensive pass interference, Caldwell also highlighted what he thought was a blown call, when Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey hit Matthew Stafford below the knees, temporarily hobbling the Lions quarterback.
But in noting the officiating oversights, Caldwell emphatically stated it was not the reason the Lions’ lost the 16-15 decision at home.
“That’s how it goes,” he said. “We don’t make any excuse for anything. That’s the thing that I think all too often teams that lose end up talking about what it. We’ve got to make our own breaks.”
That doesn’t mean the team will pretend the perceived mistakes didn’t happen. The Lions, as they do after every game, will submit their officiating concerns to the league for review.
“We have mechanisms to go through the process,” Caldwell said. “We use every available tool to make certain what we think should be looked at is looked at. Every one that you think possible should be (reviewed), you might as well put an affirmative by it. We do it every single week and we do it in detail."