The Detroit Lions and Calvin Johnson Got Robbed In Loss To Chicago

Tony BriscoeCorrespondent IMarch 10, 2017

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions hadn't won an away game in 20 consecutive outings going into their opener against the Chicago Bears—a streak that should have been snapped Sunday.

Matthew Stafford threw 11 completions in 15 attempts, racking up 83 yards in his sophomore debut. Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers brought Stafford’s first appearance to an end near to the conclusion of the second quarter, after a blindside sack injured his right shoulder—the same shoulder that caused Stafford to sit four games last season.

According to, Stafford will sit two to three weeks minimum.

Nonetheless, the Lions persisted with backup quarterback Shaun Hill. Hill took a lot of heat early, throwing an interception that was intended for Calvin Johnson (who apparently tripped).  He was also sacked without any help from the offensive line, nearly giving up a touchback.

The Lions managed to accumulate a meager 191 yards of offense. However, anybody who watched the game will tell you that the staggering offense was not the only phenomena this game. The defense made a surprise appearance as well.

In the second half, the Lions defense made big plays (including an impressive four down goal line stand) to keep Detroit winning 14-13, until a Matt Forte touchdown with one minute and forty seconds minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

The subsequent Detroit drive climaxed with what appeared to be a touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson. Yet, officials ruled that Johnson did not maintain possession throughout the process of the catch. Johnson caught the ball with both feet noticeably in-bounds, but as he hit the ground he let go of the ball.

The controversy seems to concern the question of whether or not Johnson spiked the ball in excitement and had full control, or if he did not have full possession.

Regardless, Chicago fans looked shocked that the play wasn’t a touchdown themselves.

This was an obvious no-call situation. Referees in any sport of the game know that when the game is on the line, it is best just to let the athletes play it out. 

Whether or not the call was right, was it appropriate considering the situations? Calvin Johnson made the tough catch, did he not?

The Lions deserved a victory over the Chicago Bears. It’s a crying shame that a team that has won only two games in the last two seasons had it’s first win of the season stripped from them over a questionable technicality.


Tony Briscoe is a contributor and a former intern of the Bleacher Report. He has also written articles for B.L.A.C. Magazine Detroit and stories that have been featured on and You can follow him on Twitter at