Barry Sanders and Tony Dungy Blast NFL Officiating After Lions’ 23-22 Loss to Packers
A pair of hands to the face penalties from Lions defensive end Trey Flowers helped the Packers overcome a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. It appeared to many that both penalties should not have been called. In fact, they should not have been called, period.
NFL Twitter reacted the same way. Former Lions great Barry Sanders personally called out the NFL, referring to the officiating in the game “sickening.” Though he notes the Lions should have scored more touchdowns, those penalties seemingly stripped Detroit of the win.
That is sickening… the @NFL needs to look at a way to prevent that from happening. Two phantom hands to the face calls really hurts us tonight. Yes, we could have scored TDs, but @Lions played too well to have the game end this way. #DETvsGB @espn
— Barry Sanders (@BarrySanders) October 15, 2019
As Mike Tirico of ESPN says, there is a problem when one of the “classiest guys in NFL history weighs in.”
When one of the classiest guys in NFL history weighs in .. there’s a problem. https://t.co/dEVo1vQUNc
— MikeTirico (@miketirico) October 15, 2019
Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt agreed with Sanders, despite the bias for his former team.
From someone who used to be in the Packers' front office … https://t.co/zRZMQjgpsE
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) October 15, 2019
Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy — along with many– saw a missed defensive pass interference in the fourth quarter and decided to let people know about it. The missed call led to a punt, which helped the Packers win the game.
That was clearly DPI on the Packers. Coaches are afraid to challenge now though because these plays have not been overturned recently.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) October 15, 2019
The illegal hands to the face penalty called on Flowers — one that should have ended in a sack — angered even those working for ESPN, who covered the game. Of course, everyone in the booth was dumbfounded, and so was Scott Van Pelt. ESPN’s Louis Riddick called the situation embarrassing.
There needs to be an explanation about this. You can’t make that call TWICE and nothing comes of it. That’s embarrassing.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) October 15, 2019
There are plenty more responses to the bad calls, but most are expletive-filled and for good reason. The hands to the face penalties were simply bad calls. When you have numerous NFL players and coaches calling out these penalties over Twitter, you know there’s a major problem.