The Detroit Lions were in perfect position to score a touchdown after a pass interference penalty in the second quarter gave them first-and-goal on the 1-yard line against the Tennessee Titans. Then everything went wrong.
First, the referees screwed up. On the Lions’ first play of the set of downs, tight end Eric Ebron shook safety Da’Norris Searcy so badly in the end zone that the refs thought he pushed off and threw a flag, nullifying a Lions touchdown.
On the next play, quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Anquan Boldin in the end zone, seemingly making up for the referees’ gaffe — except FLAG. Offensive guard Laken Tomlinson was called for holding, pushing the Lions back to the 21-yard line. After yet another holding penalty on the next play, the Lions were pushed back to the 26.
So a set of downs that started like this on first down:
Eventually looked like this on first down after three straight penalties:
The Lions at least got three points out of the possession off of a 42-yard Matt Prater field goal, but ohhhh what should have been.
Detroit went on to lose that game, and the dumb penalty that cost them a touchdown was the difference.
* * *