Naturally, many are choosing to point the finger at the NFL in the wake of the Detroit Lions' controversial loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and rightfully so. A rule in the rulebook that's previously been enforced was blatantly ignored, and it was a rule that could have given the Lions another chance to win a game that was stunningly in their grasp late. It's something the league must deal with. Bat or touch a ball improperly? Automatic flag. It shouldn't even be a judgement call. But let's not let technicality get in the way of another truth. The Lions didn't lose on the last play of the game, they paved the path to losing all night with silly mistakes and two glaring penalties. That was the most significant thing the autopsy should reveal the morning after a crusher 13-10 road loss. Going into Seattle, any team is immediately up against it mentally from the moment they walk down the tunnel. The fans are frenzied, the noise is loud and the cocksure Seahawks talk plenty of smack. It's a perfect storm which leads to a cauldron of negativity that can trip up teams that aren't completely ready from a mental perspective. Monday night, the Lions were one of those teams. Despite getting two gift turnovers, Detroit couldn't get anything done thanks to silly penalties by offensive lineman. After Tyler Lockett made a rookie mistake and muffed a punt, Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Wholesale the Lions took over near midfield. Their march was quickly halted, however, after Travis Swanson made a foolish holding penalty.A scoring threat was thwarted. Not soon after, following a fumble by Russell Wilson, the Lions were on the move again and had just completed a pass to Calvin Johnson to move into Seattle territory when Riley Reiff made a costly personal foul, effectively killing another short-field drive. It was the kind of mental mistake that evoked thoughts of "same old Lions." Four penalties for 37 yards might not look bad on the stat sheet, but when two of those calls come at key moments of the game to kill drives, arguably, they hurt worse than if the team had piled up 10 penalties for 100 yards. "We had a couple third down conversions that I felt were decent plays that were backed up because of penalties that kind of hurt us," Matthew Stafford said honestly afterward. Both series looked promising for the offense considering field position,Cheap Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Sale and both came up dry on the scoreboard due to mental errors, not schematic errors. "It's unfortunate, but you can't put the game in the referee's hands," Johnson said somberly of the goal line play which will go down in league history as one of the most bizarre sequences near the goal line. One play at the end can make a difference in winning or losing, but a handful of mistakes can always help in setting up that outcome.
Far too often lately, the Lions have left the game close enough where official error can make a difference thanks to gaps in their own discipline and execution, which is the reason they keep finding themselves at the epicenter of controversy.