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Lions could have been called for delay of game on Browns’ sneak before halftime

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Quandre Diggs #28 of the Detroit Lions hits quarterback DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

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The Browns committed the bonehead play of the day on Sunday in Detroit when they ran a quarterback sneak from the 2-yard line with 15 seconds left in the first half and no timeouts. The play ended, as quarterback sneaks tend to, with a big pile of players in the middle of the field, and by the time everyone got unpiled, there was no time left in the half.

But the Lions contributed to that big pile of players taking so long to get lined back up for the next play: Detroit players were purposely getting off the pile slowly to keep the Browns from getting lined up to run another offensive play. And for that, the Lions easily could have been called for defensive delay of game.

Former NFL officiating department heads Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino both said today on a FOX Sports video that they believe the Lions got away with delay of game, and should have been flagged.

“The defenders all jumped on [Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer] and they took their sweet time getting up, and it looked like maybe eight to 10 seconds before the officials were able to put the ball into play,” Blandino said. “That’s delay of game defense, it would stop the clock. . . . It certainly looked like that should have been delay of game there.”

If the penalty had been called, the Browns would have had time for one more play and probably would have sent their field goal team onto the field for a chip shot. The Browns should have known better than to risk time running out with a quarterback sneak, but the officials also should have flagged the Lions.