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Watch: Refs miss ‘illegal batting’ in end zone on Calvin Johnson fumble

The referees missed an important call late in Monday’s Lions-Seahawks game that gave Seattle possession and allowed it to run out the clock for a victory, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said after the game
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The referees missed an important call late in Monday’s Lions-Seahawks game that gave Seattle possession and allowed it to run out the clock for a victory, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said after the game

Calvin Johnson had a chance to give the Lions the lead over the Seahawks late the fourth quarter but fumbled the ball just short of the goal line. 

Trailing 13–10, Detroit went on a 10-play, 90-yard drive in the fourth quarter but Johnson’s fumble cost the Lions what would have been the go-ahead score with 1:51 remaining. 

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Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright knocked the ball out of the back of the end zone and the play was ruled a touchback, giving Seattle possession on its own 20-yard line.

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Wright should have been penalized for illegally batting the ball out of the end zone, which would have kept possession with the Lions, Blandino told ESPN’s Mike Tirico. The call is not reviewable. 

NFL rules state that a player may not bat or punch a ball “in any direction in either end zone.” If the rule had been applied correctly, Detroit would have retained possession at the spot of the fumble, giving them first and goal at the 1. 

With the loss, the Lions fell to 0–4, their first 0–4 start since 2010. 

- Dan Gartland