After Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Debacle The Challenge Flag Rule Must Go

on November 22 2012 4:44 PM
After Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Debacle The Challenge Flag Rule Must Go

For good reason, Jim Schwartz was trending on twitter. He became the victim of a rule the NFL put in place that has absolutely no business being in the book because of situations like today.

Justin Forsett was running up the field, got taken down, but no whistle was blown. Intelligently, Forsett bounced right up and ran down the field for a touchdown.

It became clear on replay at Ford Field that Forsetts' left forearm was on the ground which makes him down by contact. 

Schwartz immediately threw the red challenge flag- which is a problem on a scoring play.

Starting this season, a new rule was made stating that any scoring play was automatically reviewed up in the booth.

Throwing a challenge flag in that situation would be penalized, and no challenge would occur.

There is no issue with giving the coach who throws the flag in that situation a delay of game five yard penalty. Or instead, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of fifteen yards on the ensuing kickoff.

There is a major issue with not reviewing the play all because a red flag was thrown to the ground by an angry coach in the heat of the moment.

Everybody knows that Justin Forsett was down by contact, and that would've been proved under review.

For the integrity of the game, the officials can't hand down a penalty to a coach wanting to review a play, and then still not review the play

Instead of charging the team five or even fifteen yards on the next play for something as irrelevant as throwing a red flag onto the field, the rules state taking away the ability to change an incorrect call.

In this case, the Lions were charged seven points against, in a game that they lost in overtime.

A team that hadn't won on Thanksgiving in eight years (now nine) and were 4-6 (now 4-7) trying to hang in a competitive NFC playoff race.

This loss will surely sink the Lions hopes of a playoff bound year, but if they had won it could've sparked a run after beating the best team in the National Football League.

In the end though, no professional sports team can blame an entire loss on one bad call.

But, try selling that statement to the Detroit Lion fans who lost their Thanksgiving spirit because of one bad call.