Patriots

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower, NFL Twitter react to Packers-Lions penalty fiasco

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower, NFL Twitter react to Packers-Lions penalty fiasco

It's hard to blame the Detroit Lions for being upset at the officiating in their 23-22 loss to the rival Green Bay Packers on "Monday Night Football."

Lions defensive end Trey Flowers, who signed with Detroit as a free agent in the offseason after winning multiple Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, was called for two suspect illegal hands to the face penalties, one of which prolonged an early-fourth-quarter drive that ended with a 35-yard touchdown pass by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Flowers' first penalty came during a 3rd-and-10 play where the Lions sacked Rodgers. Green Bay likely would've punted, but the penalty resulted in an automatic first down to keep the drive alive.

Flowers was called for another illegal hands to the face penalty on Green Bay's final drive. This penalty crept the Packers closer to the end zone, and kicker Mason Crosby eventually converted a 23-yard field goal as time expired to seal a 1-point Green Bay win.

NFL Twitter, including several current and former players, were not pleased (or at least were confused) with the officiating. One of those players was Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who played with Flowers for three seasons. Here's a collection of notable Twitter reaction to the penalties on Flowers:


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Tom Brady praises Colin Kaepernick, calls upcoming workout 'pretty cool'

Tom Brady praises Colin Kaepernick, calls upcoming workout 'pretty cool'

The New England Patriots are one of 11 teams that will have a representative at Colin Kaepernick's workout Saturday.

Their starting quarterback is a fan of Kaepernick, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. In an interview Thursday night on Westwood One, host Jim Gray asked Brady if he thought a quarterback like Kaepernick could successfully return to the league after a three-year absence.

"I think being a pro quarterback is very challenging in and of itself," Brady told Gray. "To have time off is a challenge, but Colin's overcome a lot of challenges in his career, and he's always found a way to produce.

"He's very mentally tough, and I think it's pretty cool that he's getting that opportunity."

Brady has been supportive of Kaepernick in the past, admitting in 2017 he's always "admired" the ex-Niners QB after San Francisco beat the Patriots in Foxboro in 2012 and expressing his hope that another team sign Kaepernick.

That didn't happen, of course: Kaepernick went unclaimed in 2017 free agency after protesting racial inequality and social injustice in America by sitting and/or kneeling during the national anthem.

The Patriots have been loosely speculated as a team that could sign the 32-year-old as Brady's backup. At the very least, it appears the 42-year-old respects Kaepernick -- wherever he ends up.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Reuben Frank on how SB52 changed expectations in Philly; Patriots edge over Eagles

Patriots Talk Podcast: Reuben Frank on how SB52 changed expectations in Philly; Patriots edge over Eagles

More Patriots-Eagles matchup talk ahead of the Super Bowl 52 rematch Sunday in Philly, plus NBC Sports Philly's Reuben Frank joins Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry to talk about lasting impact the Eagles' Super victory had on the franchise.

2:30 - Phil Perry and Tom Curran break down the Eagles offensive advantages over the Patriots, including their success in two-tight end sets. Should Stephon Gilmore shadow Zach Ertz to try and lock him down?

10:50 - The Eagles offensive line has been one of the best in the league this year and could allow Philly's run game to break out vs. the Patriots.

14:53 - Tom argues that the Patriots' biggest advantage over the Eagles is their top-ranked secondary.

18:22 - Phil explains how the Patriots hurry-up offense could be used to tire out the Eagles' strong pass rush.

22:26 - Reuben Frank from NBC Sports Philadelphia joins Tom and Phil to talk about the Eagles Super Bowl 52 win over the Patriots, the expectations that win put on the city, and just how bad the Eagles wide receiver corps is this season.

37:40 - Tom caught up with Ben Watson to get his take on the workout being held for Colin Kaepernick.

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