Lions talking points: On blown calls, bad offense

Dave Birkett
Detroit Free Press
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Bat crazy

The Lions were on the wrong end of another blown call Monday. Back judge Greg Wilson should have whistled K.J. Wright for intentionally knocking a Calvin Johnson fumble out of the back of the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Had he flagged that play, the Lions would have had the ball inside the 1-yard line and been in position to score the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes to play.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell called the missed penalty "ridiculous" and said it would have been a "waste of time" to argue with officials about the play as judgment calls like that are not subject to review.

The Lions probably didn't deserve to win in the end. The struggled badly on offense again and Johnson did lose the fumble. Still, players and teams deserve better officiating from the league.

Fear Factor

The Lions had four punts and one first down on their first four possessions of the second half, but Matthew Stafford caught fire on the final drive, completing all five of his pass attempts to march the Lions from their own 9-yard line to the Seattle 20.

Rather than keep the ball in Stafford's hands, the Lions got conservative around the two-minute warning, handing the ball off twice to Zach Zenner on the two plays that sandwiched the two-minute warning. Caldwell said the calls were done in part to help milk the clock and keep the ball away from the Seahawks, though some took umbrage with the approach.

"We look at all factors," Caldwell said. "It's not like you can, 'Oh, hey, we're going to get 4 yards on this play so let's let the clock run down.' It's preposterous to even think that way. Certainly we consider the clock, certainly we know exactly what's happening here, certainly we're trying to eat it up. But we're also trying to score a touchdown, too. So that's all part of it, so that's Football 101."

15 and counting

The Lions failed to score an offensive touchdown Monday, and didn't even reach the red zone until their final drive of the game.

They've now gone more than 85 game minutes and 15 straight possessions without an offensive touchdown, and Caldwell admitted he's concerned about a unit that isn't getting enough production from its most high profile players.

"Anytime we don't win, I'm concerned about anything. So yes, I'm concerned and we got to keep working and keep finding a way to move the ball," Caldwell said. "We were just inconsistent. The last drive we looked pretty good, not too bad. But there's a whole bunch of drives in between there, I think there was five in a row that we ended up punting the ball or something like that, we didn't look so good. So we've got to get better."

Sharp: Another impossible way for Lions to lose

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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