The Green Bay Packers managed to pull off a dramatic comeback victory on Monday night, defeating the Detroit Lions 23-22 on a last-second field goal from Mason Crosby. But after the game, it wasn't Aaron Rodgers' usual clutch ways that people were talking about, it was the officiating crew, who had two controversial hands to the face penalty calls against the Lions that all but killed any momentum they had going.
As you can see in the clip above, both hands to the face calls seemed questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst. What makes the calls so tough is the timing. The first hands to the face penalty on Lions DE Trey Flowers came after he sacked Rodgers on third-and-10 and the penalty both took away the sack and provided the Pack with an automatic first down. Later in the drive, Rodgers dropped in a great 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within two points
The second questionable hands to the face call came on 3rd-and-4 and it was the most costly call of the game. The Packers received another automatic first down and ran down the clock — Detroit was out of timeouts — to set up the eventual game-winning, walk-off field goal from Crosby.
And it didn't take long for many people, everyone from former NFL greats to NFL reporters, to chime in on social media with their thoughts on the officiating that seemingly cost Detroit a crucial win.
Embarrassing— Olin kreutz (@olin_kreutz) October 15, 2019
That complete whiff by the officials took it from punt/Lions ball to long Rodgers touchdown in the blink of an eye.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 15, 2019
NFL refs have never impacted the outcomes of games more negatively than they do now.
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
The refs called Trey Flowers for hands to the face twice. Neither were correct.— BroBible (@BroBible) October 15, 2019
One gave the Packers a touchdown and the other gave them the game. pic.twitter.com/eGq01y32ra
Oh my god. Booger McFarland destroying the refs for another penalty for hands to the face on Flowers. Incredible. He’d never been called for one in his career. Two tonight. Black swans everywhere as Lions truly get screwed— Bob Wojnowski (@bobwojnowski) October 15, 2019
The referees are destroying the NFL game by game. It’s a shame because of how much work is put in and to have games literally won or loss by bad calls in crucial situations. #sendembacktofootlocker #MNF #NFL— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) October 15, 2019
These calls cost them the game I really can’t believe what I just watched...smh— Eddie Jackson (@BoJack39) 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
With the Green Bay win, the Lions moved to last-place in the NFC North, while the Bears now sit 2.5 games back of first place heading into their Week 7 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.