Should refs from Seahawks-Lions debacle be disciplined? Mike Pereira weighs in
By now, you all know what happened at the end of the Seattle Seahawks’ win over the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
If by some chance you don’t, click here. Or read the next four paragraphs.
Trailing 13-10 with less than two minutes to play, the Lions were on the move and in the red zone. On third-and-1 from the Seattle 11 with 1:51 left in regulation, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford hit receiver Calvin Johnson on the left hash.
As Johnson lunged toward the end zone Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor knocked the ball out of Johnson’s hands, coming out inside the 1, just before Johnson crossed into the end zone.
The ball bounced around toward the back of the end zone before linebacker K.J. Wright batted it out of the back of the end zone to create what appeared to be a touchback. Indeed, that is what the officials ruled on the field: touchback, Seattle ball on its own 20, with a chance to run out the clock — which the Seahawks did, ultimately winning by that 13-10 score.
However, the play should’ve been flagged for illegal batting and the ball given back to the Lions inside the 1, a first and goal from the spot of the fumble.
The refs clearly missed the call on the batted ball that came after the Johnson fumble.
Considering the ramifications of that miss — Detroit, now 0-4, should have been able to keep the ball inside the 1 and go for the win or at least tie — should the referees be suspended?
"If they didn’t know the rule, I’d be considering suspension," FOX Sports rules expert Mike Pereira explained on "The Herd" on Tuesday. "I don’t think I would be considering firing. It’s a little bit of an unusual play."
Pereira, who oversaw officiating in some capacity for the league from 1998 to 2010, also said the refs made a great call on Johnson’s fumble after the punch-out by Kam Chancellor. The judgement aspect of the batted ball by K.J. Wright is what tripped them up.
"They knew the rule but they got caught up in the intentional aspect of it," Pereira said. "They made a wrong judgment decision. … Everybody feels bad about it, but … no aspect of batting is reviewable."