According to an ESPN report, NFL officials erred when they called a second hands-to-the-face penalty against Detroit defensive end Trey Flowers on Monday night, allowing the Green Bay Packers to run the clock down and kick a game winning field goal.
NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent said at the league’s fall meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday after the Packers knocked off the Lions 23-22 on Monday night.
Vincent said the two controversial hands-to-the-face penalties, called against Flowers, were a topic of discussion at a meeting with the competition committee on Tuesday.
Vincent said there was one penalty that they clearly support. The other is something that you don’t want to see called.
In his pool report, referee Clete Blakeman explained what the umpire who threw the flags, Jeff Rice, saw on the fouls.
“The umpire threw both of them. The last one was really the only one I’ve discussed with him,”Blakeman said. “Basically, it’s for Illegal used of the hands, hands-to-the-face foul. To be a foul, we basically need some forceful contact that’s prolonged to the head and neck area.
“So in his mind he had pinned him back, it was prolonged, and that’s what created the foul.”
Both of the penalties called on Flowers came on third downs in the fourth quarter that would have ended drives, but instead granted the Packers 5 yards and automatic first downs.