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Eagles lost their 1st game of the season after a controversial fumble against the Lions

The Lions’ win was sealed by Carson Wentz’s first career interception. And Jim Caldwell actually showed emotion!

The Detroit Lions blew a 21-7 lead against the Philadelphia Eagles. The offense totally bogged down after halftime. The defense gave up long third conversion after long third down conversion. Sometimes, however, things just break your way.

Down 23-21, with the Eagles eating clock on offense and facing third-and-2, Lions cornerback Darius Slay forced a Ryan Mathews fumble and the Lions recovered it to give themselves possession in Eagles territory with a little more than two minutes remaining.

They kicked a field goal to take a late 24-23 lead.

BUT, there was some controversy on the play.

Referees reviewed the play to determine possession, or if the ball might have gone out of bounds. By NFL rule, if a loose ball is touching a player who is out of bounds, then the ball is technically out of bounds, even if it is “technically” still within the field of play. Here’s the rule:

NFL Rule 3.21.

1. "A player or an Official is Out of Bounds when he touches a boundary line, or when he touches anything that is on or outside a boundary line, except a player, an official, or a pylon."

3. "A loose ball is out of bounds when it touches a boundary line or anything that is on or outside such line, including a player, an official, or a pylon. "

Though it appears that the ball might have been touching an Eagles player as he slid out of bounds, referees apparently didn’t see enough to overturn the play, allowing it to stand as a called.

NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino explained the call in extensive detail after the game.

THEN, Carson Wentz made an uncharacteristic mistake

Wentz has had a brilliant rookie season, and his game against the Lions was one of his best. Before his last pass of the game, he was 25-of-32 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. His last pass was an interception, however — his first of the season, and right in the hands of Slay, the man who forced the Mathews fumble.

Wentz’s first career pick led to the Eagles’ first loss of the season. And the Lions, despite getting wildly outplayed for most of the second half, escaped with a win at home to improve to 2-3.

This was an important win for the Lions

Not only did they beat a very good team, but they also reversed some of the bad juju that had been haunting them going back to last season. In 2015, they lost games on an illegally batted ball and a Hail Mary. This year, they had a touchdown taken away on a phantom penalty and lost an ugly game to the Bears. After the game, Lions players admitted they were emotional.

One play seemingly changed everything. How big was it? Jim Caldwell, of all people, celebrated.