NFL: Questionable Call Costs the Lions the Game Against the Bears...Again

Chuck SteakContributor IDecember 5, 2010

DETROIT - DECEMBER 05: Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz argues an Unnecessary Roughness call on Ndamukong Suh #90 by NFL referee Ed Hochuli #85 during the fourth quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on December 5, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 24-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Twelve weeks ago, the Lions lost by five points to the Bears, on a controversial call at the end of the game. Here's the play:

Clearly, it appeared as though Calvin Johnson made the catch, which would have given Detroit the lead with less than 30 seconds left, and most likely the win.

Technically, the referees made the right call, but in my opinion there is obviously something wrong with that rule, and not too many disagree.

What's done is done, and today the Lions got a chance to avenge this loss at home, where they were 5.5 point underdog's against a Chicago squad that had been clicking since their bye week, four weeks prior. 

The Lions weren't going to lay down though, even with third-string quarterback Drew Stanton at the helm, who despite attempt to "dougie" after a touchdown, pieced together a very good game. The Lions scored first, and never trailed all the way into the fourth quarter. 

Then, after stopping the Lions, the Bears took over with just under 12 minutes to go. Cutler made three nice passes to move the Bears into field goal range.

On the next play, Cutler was forced to out of the pocket and in the process of being tackled while scrambling, took a hard Suh forearm to the back of the helmet.

While this would normally be an illegal hit on a quarterback, Cutler was pass the line of scrimmage and and thus ball carrier and no longer a quarterback.

So, the hit was legal, but the refs threw the flag for unnecessary roughness and the Bears were given the ball on the Detroit 7-yard line. They would promptly score on the very next play, to take the lead on what would end up being the game winning score.

Here's the play:

Overall, it's hard to say that one call costs a team a game when they're on the field for 60 minutes, but that's twice now it seems as though the Lions have gotten the bad end of two game altering calls.