The Detroit Lions failed to make the playoffs even after beating the Green Bay Packers in Week 18 in the final game of the regular season. According to ESPN insider Adam Schefter, more than a few league execs believe the failure of the officiating crew in Seattle’s Week 18 win over the Los Angeles Rams played no small part in why the Lions didn’t make it.
Several controversial officiating calls that directly benefitted the Seahawks are under serious scrutiny by the NFL, per Schefter. Among them are an incorrectly assessed running into the kicker penalty and a failure to penalize Seahawks QB Geno Smith for an obvious intentional grounding foul.
Multiple sources told ESPN that the Rams were upset by the officiating, the Lions were bothered by it and the competition committee was frustrated by it. The calls benefited the Seahawks, hurt the Rams and ultimately impacted the Lions, who needed Seattle to lose in order to have a chance to claim the NFC’s final wild-card spot.
Schefter also quoted one league source who was angry on behalf of the Lions,
“The Lions should be livid,” one source told ESPN. “It was an awful way for them to end their season.”
Seattle’s win eliminated the Lions before Detroit kicked off the Sunday night game in Green Bay. The Lions’ 20-16 win over the Packers eliminated the Packers and earned the spot for the Seahawks. Seattle plays San Francisco in the wild card round.