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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Lions player calls pass interference penalty ‘shady’

Anthony Hitchens pass interference

Detroit Lions players are just as baffled by the referees picking up their pass interference penalty call in Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff game as the rest of us.

One player even feels that the reversal, which came at a pivotal time in the game, was “shady.”

“Doesn’t this seem shady to you?” one Lions player texted to NFL Media’s Albert Breer. “It’s just crazy.”

He wasn’t the only one to question things. Breer says got texts from one player and a Lions official questioning why Dez Bryant wasn’t called for a penalty for coming on to the field to protest the call.

And then there was this:

Plus you had Rashean Mathis saying it was hard to overcome the calls.

“When they keep recurring, it’s tough,” Mathis said after the game. “It’s tough, because at the end of the day it dictates the outcome of the ballgame and you don’t want that, especially when you’re fighting tooth-and-nail with a team in a playoff atmosphere. It’s tough. It’d be a little different if it was a regular season game. This was an all-or-nothing game. It’s tough.”

On the other hand, wide receiver Golden Tate, who scored the first touchdown of the game, said Detroit had their chances and cannot blame the officials. While that is undoubtedly true — Detroit had plenty of opportunities to win and did not come through — the reversal of that penalty was a game-changer and without question the wrong decision.

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