Refs Blow Call, Lions Should Have Kept Ball After Calvin Johnson Fumble vs. Seahawks (Video)
By now you’ve probably heard how the Detroit Lions managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when Calvin Johnson fumbled away what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes remaining in Monday night’s contest against the Seattle Seahawks.
Well, what if I told you that the Lions actually should have gotten the ball back after Johnson fumbled it at the one-yard line? Because it’s true. You see, after Megatron fumbled the ball, Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright intentionally batted it through the back of the end zone, which is illegal.
As per the NFL rule book, Rule 12, Section 4, Article 1(b):
If it had been applied, this rule would have given the ball back to Detroit at the spot where Calvin fumbled, and the Seahawks would have been penalized half the distance to the goal. But K.J. Wright’s illegal bat was not flagged by the officials, the Seahawks got the ball, and the rest is history.
Here’s former NFL referee Gerry Austin explaining the entire ordeal to the Monday Night Football guys (via BroBible):