Detroit News reporters offer their thoughts on Detroit's 42-30 loss to Minnesota as the losing skid hits three. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Detroit — The anger was palpable well before kickoff.
From the moment Brad Rogers' crew walked out on the field about an hour before Sunday's game between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, the fans at Ford Field let the officials know they were not happy with their ilk around these parts.
The issue wasn't specifically with Rogers, seeing as this was his first time he reffed a Lions game as a newly minted head official for the 2019 season. No, this was residual anger boiling over toward Rogers' entire profession after last Monday, when the Lions were on the wrong side of a number of questionable calls and non-calls in a loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The boos of the hundreds of fans in their seats at the time the officials first stepped on the field turned into a deafening chorus during the coin toss, when the stadium was closer to capacity. And when Rogers' crew threw a flag on the game's second play, another hearty round of jeers rained down from the rafters from Lions fans expecting the worst.
It turned out that call was against Minnesota.
In the end, the Lions were flagged eight times for 67 yards, while the Vikings committed six infractions that cost them 61 yards.
Still, the game wasn't without some controversy, although it paled in comparison to the events from last Monday night.
In the second quarter, Lions cornerback Justin Coleman was flagged for pass interference, negating a Lions interception. The play had an additional layer because the intended receiver, Olabisi Johnson, had come from out of bounds while attempting to make the catch, potentially making him ineligible.
What was only explained after the game was that Coleman's interference was what drove Johnson out of bounds and it was determined the receiver had reestablished himself in the field of play.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen jumped into the neutral zone. The Lions quickly snapped the ball, but the play was whistled dead, much to the frustration of quarterback Matthew Stafford.
In these instances, it's a judgment call by the officials if they feel the quarterback's safety is jeopardized by an unabated defender. Additionally, if the defender entering into the neutral zone causes an offensive lineman to jump early, the play is supposed to be whistled dead.