In the waning moments of the contest, the Lions made the executive decision to take a knee, leave Gillette Stadium and prepare for their Thanksgiving showdown with the Chicago Bears.
Taking a closer look at that final play, something suspicious jumps off the screen. Zach Heilprin of ESPN Wisconsin provided a Vine video detailing the incident.
Keep your eyes focused on Lions center Dominic Raiola.
Clearly, he purposely goes low on Patriots defensive lineman Zach Moore.
Update: Monday, November 24
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk claims a source said the NFL will "review the play" before opining, "Whether any action is taken in response to it is anyone’s guess. But the rule book provides the league office with ammunition to take action against Raiola."
---End of update---
Talking to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Raiola explained why (h/t Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald):
Jeff Howe @jeffphowe
Raiola told @davebirkett he dove at Zach Moore's knees in retaliation for Blount's 2nd TD when he felt the Pats should've taken a knee.11/23/2014, 11:17:28 PM
"I cut him," Raiola told Birkett and Jeff Seidel, also of the Detroit Free Press. The Lions center would go on to explain his thought process in greater detail:
We took a knee, so I cut the nose (tackle). They went for six (a touchdown). They went for a touchdown at 2 minutes. They could have took three knees and the game could have been over. It's football. He wants to keep playing football, let's play football. Not a big deal. It's football.
Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said he only heard what happened but thought it was "stupid," per ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein:
I didn't see it, but from what I heard ... you're taking a knee. They'd get mad if we were just to blow up one of their players, so I mean, it's just uncalled for. But at the same time, you always have to protect yourself, so you always have to play with your neck on a swivel and being alert for 60 minutes and it came down to it today on a boneheaded play like that. Luckily no one got hurt and we can move on.
The only question that's left to answer is a simple one: Should Raiola be fined and suspended?
After watching the clip above, what do you think? Was it a non-issue, or should the league take action?
Unless noted otherwise, all game scores and information come courtesy of ESPN.com.