The Detroit Lions’ defense (and offense) totally imploded in the second half Sunday, so it was impossible for them to pin too much blame on the game’s officials. And yet, a couple of third-quarter calls helped Philadelphia switch momentum after Detroit appeared to have control.
The most egregious of the officiating errors: Nick Fairley being flagged for roughing the passer. The call came as Nick Foles threw a 2nd-and-10 incompletion — meaning that the 15-yard penalty gave Philadelphia a first down rather than 3rd-and-10.
The Lions led 14-6 at that point, so a stop might have allowed them to keep a stranglehold on the game. Instead, Philadelphia scored on a LeSean McCoy TD scamper immediately after that penalty, then punched in a two-point conversion after a phantom defensive holding call on Ndamukong Suh.
Here’s the play Fairley was penalized for … and there’s nothing to justify the call (GIF via Guyism):