Matthew Stafford missed wide-open Calvin Johnson on pass interference play
Detroit Lions fans feel that they have been completely robbed of their first playoff win in over 20 years, and rightfully so. The pass interference flag that was thrown in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys should have never been picked up. That said, the no-call wasn’t the only reason Detroit lost.
As Golden Tate said after the game, the Lions should have never put themselves in that position. Not only that, but Matthew Stafford may have made a bad read on the controversial 3rd-and-1 play and missed a wide-open Calvin Johnson.
If Stafford had only thrown to the open receiver on the third down play. Yes, S over top but that's open pic.twitter.com/TlK2rucs9R
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) January 6, 2015
There was safety help on Johnson (as you can see form the photo at the top), but there’s no way the safety would have closed the gap quickly enough to break up the pass. Megatron had plenty of separation from his defender and no one in front of him.
Rather than throwing to Johnson, Stafford locked onto Brandon Pettigrew. Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens had tight coverage on Pettigrew whether he committed a penalty or not. It sure looks like Stafford could have hooked up with Megatron for an easy completion.
Again, the flag should have never been picked up. You can watch the play here and see for yourself that Hitchens could have easily been penalized. But if Stafford simply threw to the open man, there would be no controversy.