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This game violently pivoted on two plays early in the fourth quarter. Both plays were astonishingly inept penalty calls by referee Ed Hochuli.
His first infraction against officiating came on a fairly innocuous pass play. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles threw the ball, and Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley ran into his midsection just after Foles released it.
The contact was not violent, not in the least. Even the Philadelphia media thought the hit was perfectly clean:
The national media saw it the same way:
Yet Hochuli threw the flag anyway. It's worth noting he was standing directly behind Foles and could not see Fairley's point of impact, meaning he compounded his own error of positioning by making a hasty and obviously incorrect call.
After the Eagles scored as a direct result of that call, Hochuli further cemented his ineptitude. On the Eagles' two-point conversion attempt, he flagged Ndamukong Suh for a holding penalty.
As bad as the call on Fairley was, this was infinitely worse. Suh was being held by center Jason Kelce as he tried to extend his arms to deflect the pass.
The Fox broadcasting crew was openly laughing at the call, trying to find any validity or merit to the flag. Former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira, who also found the call on Fairley bogus, was similarly flabbergasted:
Hochuli might be one of the most celebrated officials in NFL history, but he had a very bad game in Philadelphia.