Detroit Lions get jobbed at end of Ravens loss? CBS explains delay of game that never came

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The Detroit Lions suffered perhaps the most heartbreaking loss in franchise history on Sunday, losing to the Baltimore Ravens, 19-17, on Sunday at Ford Field.

Justin Tucker made an NFL-record 66-yard field goal as time expired to win the game. But the play before that is steeped in controversy.

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After a long pass play for the Ravens and a spiked first-down, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was lined up in the shotgun on a second-and-10 from the Lions’ 48-yard line. With 7 seconds on the game clock, the play clock wound down.

3 … 2 … 1 … 0, but still no snap of the play. The ball was not snapped until what feel like a full second after the play clock hit zero, but there was no flag for delay of game. Jackson threw the ball out of bounds, setting up the third down play where Tucker made NFL history and handed the Lions their third loss of the season.

Gene Steratore, former NFL referee and CBS rules analyst, was in the New York studio with analysts Phil Simms, Bill Cowher, former Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson and Boomer Esiason to discuss the play.

Steratore explained that it’s the back judge’s responsibility to watch the play clock and make sure the ball is snapped in time.

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“The back judge will be looking at the play clock, and then taking his eyes from the play clock down to the ball. When he sees zero on the play clock, he will move his head directly to the football. That snap needs to occur right at that time,” Steratore said.

“So is there an extra second built in there, just because of the human element? Yeah. … It does feel like that’s a little longer than your normal progression from a zero on the clock back down.”

While Cowher tried to explain that there is typically a lull with these kinds of play, Esiason felt the lull here was uncommonly longer than normal for this play.

A delay of game would have been a 5-yard penalty for Baltimore, pushing them back to their own 47-yard line.

Contact Kirkland Crawford: kcrawford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions get jobbed at end of Ravens loss? CBS explains

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