On this day in 2019, a pair of phantom penalties against Trey Flowers late in the game allowed the Green Bay Packers to take the win from the Detroit Lions.
While the Lions didn’t play a perfect game, they were up 22-13 in the fourth quarter when the first penalty came. An illegal hands-to-the-face foul. The replay review clearly showed this wasn’t the case, but the officials wouldn’t go for it. That penalty would lead to a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 22-20.
The second penalty was another illegal hands-to-the-face call on Flowers. This one gave the Packers a fresh set of downs, setting them up to run down the clock and kick the game-winning field goal. Green Bay won 23-22 in Lambeau Field.
In the locker room, Flowers was visibly upset while talking with reporters. He didn’t agree with either call, even telling reporters he changed the placement of his hands after the first call.
“No, I didn’t think hands to the chest was a penalty. I thought (it was) hands to the face.”
Both decisions were heavily criticized by several reporters, and even in real-time by ESPN Broadcaster Booger McFarland. During the Monday Night Football broadcast, he wasn’t hesitant to tell it like it was. After the second penalty, he voiced his opinions loud and clear.
“That is a terrible call. That’s twice on Trey Flowers in crucial situations that the refs have blown the call… Let’s make sure we let America know that. That’s twice. The first time it cost [the Lions] a sack. This time it cost them the game.’’
Before this game, Trey Flowers had played in 50 NFL games, won two Super Bowls, and had never been called for “illegal hands-to-the-face.”
Photo credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
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