The Detroit Lions beat the Atlanta Falcons in London with a last-second field goal. But the play would have never happened if not for a controversial penalty against the Lions that probably should have never been called.
The controversy began with the Falcons leading 21-19 with four seconds remaining and the Lions lining up for a 43-yard game-winning field goal. The Lions missed the kick to the right and it appeared that the Falcons had won the game.
But the play had been waived off by the officials who penalised the Lions for delay of game.
This gave the Lions a second chance to make the game-winning field goal.
However, a closer look at the play showed that the Lions appeared to get the snap off before the play clock had reached zero. Assuming the clock on the screen is synced up with the clocks on the field (they usually are), it looks like the flag should have never been thrown.
What makes this call even more controversial is that officials almost always give the offence the benefit of the doubt on this call. Proper mechanics call for the back judge to watch the clock. When it reaches zero, he then looks down to see if the ball has been snapped. The offence typically gets an extra second or so.
That did not appear to happen here.
So even if the television clock and field clock (we never got a replay with the field clock in view) were not synced for some reason, this would have required the two clocks to be out of sync by at least a full second or more. That would be highly unusual.
Of course, as fate would have it, the Lions were marched back 5 yards and proceeded to make the do-over kick and win the game.
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