The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Detroit Lions on Sunday thanks to a record-setting field goal from Justin Tucker but it didn’t come without some controversy.
With 7 seconds remaining, Lamar Jackson and the offense were trying to get set up for the long try. The CBS broadcast had the play clock at zero seconds before Jackson snapped the ball. No flag was thrown for a delay of game, assuming the broadcast play clock was synced with the time on the field.
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Tucker would later hit a 66-yard field goal off the crossbar and then through the uprights.
Lions coach Dan Campbell said it was a tough loss in his postgame press conference and was asked about the final moments of the game.
“I just – I don’t even know how to describe it. I just – I didn’t think it would make it. I know he can reach it if you kick it low. But you just – if you said that, ‘They’re going to hit a 66-yarder to win the game,’ you’d take those odds. But he made it. Kudos to him. They put themselves in position to do it, too. That’s when you talk about – for them it’s, ‘How do we get one more opportunity to at least take a swing at this?’ Because that’s why. That’s what happens,” Campbell said.
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But should it have been a delay of game?
“There’s nothing I can say to that. Because it’s the same thing. Tomorrow you’ll get an apology [from the NFL] and it doesn’t mean anything. That’s life. That’s the hand we were dealt and we still had an opportunity. That was fourth and a long way to go and we gave it up,” he said.
Referee Scott Novak, in remarks to a pool reporter after the game, said the back judge is responsible for the play clock and he wasn’t sure whether it was synced with the TV clock.
“I don’t know if they’re synced up or not. But as far as our mechanics, the back judge is looking at the play clock and if it were to hit zero, he sees the zero, and he then looks to see if the ball is being snapped. If the ball is being snapped, we will let the play go. If it’s not moving, it’s delay of game. Those are the mechanics that we apply on that play,” Novak said.
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Novak said he didn’t think there was any chance the back judge was out of position.