Seattle beats Detroit 13-10 in wild, controversial finish – Kam Chancellor knocked the ball out of Calvin Johnson’s hands at the goal line and saved the Seattle Seahawks in a 13-10 win over the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.
But there was controversy on the play when the Seahawks’ K. J. Wright appeared to bat the loose ball out of the back of the end zone for a touchback and Seattle’s ball on the 20 yard line.
NFL VP of Officiating Dean Blandino told the NFL Network that Wright should have been flagged for an illegal bat, which would have given the ball back to Detroit with a first down inside the Seattle one-yard line.
“The back judge was on the play and in his judgment he didn’t feel it was an overt act so he didn’t throw the flag,” said Blandino. “In looking at the replays it looked like a bat so the enforcement would be basically we would go back to the spot of the fumble and Detroit would keep the football.”
The late-game dramatics occurred with just under two minutes remaining. Detroit drove 91 yards and appeared to be scoring the go-ahead touchdown when Chancellor made his huge play.
Wright said he was unaware of the batting rule and was purposely guiding the ball out of the end zone.
“That was definitely the thought process just to get the ball out of bounds and not try to catch it and fumble it and hit my foot and the Lions recover it,” Wright said.
The controversial play occurred in the same end zone as another memorable Monday Night Football controversy three years ago in Seattle, and once again the Seahawks benefited from a referee’s call. In that game Seattle’s Golden Tate was awarded a touchdown by replacement referees on a Hail Mary play that beat Green Bay.
It was incredible that Detroit had any chance to win the game at the end. Seattle’s defense dominated all night, and the Seahawks held a 13-3 lead with under nine minutes to play.
But Seattle’s offensive line was dismal, and the Lions harassed Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson all night. He made numerous escapes from virtually unblocked rushers, but fumbled with under nine minutes left, and the Detroit defense scooped up the ball and went 27 yards for the score.
Detroit got the ball again on their own nine-yard line with 6:23 remaining.
The Lions moved all the way to the Seattle 11-yard line with two minutes left. On a third-and-one, quarterback Matthew Stafford threw to Calvin Johnson who caught the ball at the eight-yard line and appeared to be headed into the end zone.
As Earl Thomas attempted to tackle Johnson, Chancellor knocked the ball out of his hands inches from the goal line. The ball looked to be bouncing out the back end zone when Wright, instead of grabbing or falling on the ball, gave it a bat and it landed out of bounds.
Seattle took over at their 20, and on third down Wilson completed a 50-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse, which effectively ended the game as Seattle was able to then run out the clock.
The Seahawks improved to 2-2, while the Lions fell to 0-4 on the season.