Lions Quietly Question Officiating

ALLEN PARK - Dick Jauron didn't criticize referee Mike Carey and his crew. But the Lions' interim coach and his staff spent some time going over one particular play from their 16-13 overtime loss at Green Bay on Sunday night.

ALLEN PARK - Dick Jauron didn't criticize referee Mike Carey and his crew. But the Lions' interim coach and his staff spent some time going over one particular play from their 16-13 overtime loss at Green Bay on Sunday night.

The play involved an apparent safety on which the officiating crew changed the call and took the two points off the scoreboard with 6:59 to play in regulation time.

The Lions tackled Packers running back Samkon Gado in the end zone but as he fell to the turf, the ball -- accidentally or intentionally -- left his hands and bounced just beyond the goalline.

Carey's original call was that the Lions had a safety. The call he eventually made -- and the call that stood -- was that at the moment the ball left his hands, Gado became a passer. Instead of a fumble or a tackle for a safety, it became an incomplete pass and the Lions didn't get their two points.

In addition, the officials ruled that a holding call -- against Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher, who wrestled Lions defensive end Cory Redding out of the play -- occurred outside the end zone, thereby denying the Lions the other possibility of a safety.

"There were some things in that game that went against us that we have a lot of questions about," Jauron said Monday. "The play in the end zone, with them coming out of the end zone, we've reviewed that from a lot of different angles and we have serious questions about a number of things on that play."

After studying the film from several angles, Jauron said he believes Gado was stretching the ball toward the goalline -- trying to get it out of the end zone to avoid the safety -- as he fell.

"It looks to me more like a fumble than a pass," he said. "I was under the impression there was some kind of forward movement of his hands, flipping the ball out of the end zone but I don't see that. I just see a stretching and the ball comes out ... and the ball did not get to the line of scrimmage."

The Lions also believe Tauscher's hold occurred in the end zone, which would have given the Lions a safety also.

Jauron said the Lions will submit the play to the NFL for review but that he will not necessarily speak to director of officiating Mike Pereira personally regarding the play and he will not inform the media of communication he receives from the league.


Lions Report Top Stories