So here’s a case study on playing to the whistle.
The Chiefs and Lions were smack in the midst of one of the ugliest stretches of football you’ll see this weekend — three straight possessions that ended on fumbles — with the Lions on the Kansas City 1-yard line. On first down, Detroit’s Kerryon Johnson took the handoff, plunged into the line, and didn’t make the end zone.
No sweat, saddle back up and take another go at it, right? Only problem for Detroit was, Kansas City’s Bashaud Breeland had grabbed the ball and was streaking right down the center of the Ford Field turf.
You see this all the time, defenders grabbing every loose ball and taking off. Usually, the play gets whistled dead before they can get three steps.
This time, nobody whistled. And Breeland — who was on his knees when he recovered the ball but untouched by any Detroit player at the time — had himself a 100-yard gem of a runback. This marked the second straight series that Detroit had gotten inside the Kansas City 5 and come away with nothing, which is just cruel. The touchdown could be a crucial swing in the game, where Detroit had been playing the mighty Chiefs to a draw.
Interesting tidbit: This was the same officiating crew that blew the call in the Saints-Rams game a few weeks back, when New Orleans’ Cameron Jordan broke free for a fumble recovery touchdown that was incorrectly blown dead. This time they got it right, much to the disappointment of Lions fans in the stands.
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