The Lions fall to 0-2 after another disappointing loss. We talk about the good, bad and ugly from the 30-27 loss to San Francisco. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Lions coach Matt Patricia wanted to withhold judgment on Quandre Diggs’ late defensive penalty until he could see the film.
And after taking a closer look, Patricia will ask the NFL to do the same.
“I always ask about any calls that come up during a game that are either questionable or maybe it's hard to see or what exactly the interpretation was or what they were looking at,” Patricia said during a conference call on Monday when asked if he’ll send the play into the league to be reviewed. “We'll always ask about those.
“Just like always, I'm sure this will be one.”
The play in question occurred during a third-and-2 at the San Francisco 43-yard line and the Lions trailing, 30-27, with 2:15 left in the game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo fired a pass to his left to running back Matt Breida, but rookie safety Tracy Walker jumped the route for an interception that he took back inside the 49ers’ 10-yard line.
But Walker’s pick and a golden opportunity for the Lions to tie it or take the lead was negated by Diggs’ flagged infraction on 49ers tight end George Kittle, which occurred away from the direction of Garoppolo’s throw. The flag also appeared to be thrown after Walker had already intercepted the ball.
Fox NFL analyst and former Lions linebacker Chris Spielman said during the broadcast that Diggs’ left hand was grabbing Kittle’s jersey and it was a “clear hold.”
However, Diggs called the penalty “awful” after the 30-27 loss and said he was jamming Kittle, which is legal contact allowed within five yards from the line of scrimmage.
“Frustrating because I didn't think it was the right call,” Diggs told reporters. “I don't think you make that call at the end of the game away from the ball, in clutch time. You don't make that call. And, you know, I'm not going to get fined for it, but I'm not happy with the call.”
Patricia said he expected Sunday’s contest to be monitored closely, and he didn’t go quite as far as Diggs when asked for his thoughts about the call after he got a clear look at it on the tape.
“We talked about it before the game it was going to be called tight. And that’s the way the whole game was called in general,” Patricia said. “We just have to a good job of playing the game the way it’s being called.
“That’s what they called, that’s what they called. So, it is what it is.”
What it was, though, was arguably the most devastating of Detroit’s penalties on the day. The Lions were penalized 10 times for 105 yards, while the 49ers were flagged nine times for 86 yards.
“Well, the biggest thing for us is we just have to be consistent with the penalties,” Patricia said. “I think it’s something we addressed in the spring very heavily and I think it paid off for us. We saw some positives last week (against the New York Jets) with our minimal penalty game that we had.
“We knew this game was going to be a high penalty game … So we just have to be really disciplined and make sure that we adapt to the way the game is being called. Every crew is different and we have to play consistent, so that will be the biggest thing for us to stress."