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:
Idk bout that.... 👀— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) October 15, 2019
The refs need to be investigated. This is horrendous. Check bank accounts. #NoExcuses— Desmond Howard (@DesmondHoward) October 15, 2019
OH MY GOD THE REFS LOST THE LIONS A GAME!!!— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) October 15, 2019
That is sickening... the @NFL needs to look at a way to prevent that from happening. Two phantom hands to the face calls really hurts us tonight. Yes, we could have scored TDs, but @Lions played too well to have the game end this way. #DETvsGB @espn— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) October 15, 2019
In my 11 years involved with the NFL, I’ve never seen worse officiating than this year and it’s not even close.— TJ Lang (@TJLang70) October 15, 2019
There is no explanation. It's a miscall https://t.co/7zTxWKrbJp— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) October 15, 2019
NFL penalties per game— Paul Hembekides (@PaulHembo) October 15, 2019
Who decided we needed more?
Trey a real one for how he handled this. I’m ready to go back to work with you my G! https://t.co/oTsAJGsDvs— DK (@DevonKennard) October 15, 2019
The storyline for the 2019 season continues to be the refs inability to make the accurate and correct calls week in and week out. Al Riveron continues to blindly side with his refs and the current status quo. Something must change! Zero accountability. ...#throughthewire— Clay Matthews III (@ClayMatthews52) October 15, 2019
The bogus personal foul and the non call Pass Interference was six more points. Four wrong calls is hard to imagine. https://t.co/GUoT0h7JV4— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 15, 2019
Green Bay can thank the refs for that touchdown 🤦🏾♂️— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) October 15, 2019
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.