Justin Tucker made history in the Baltimore Ravens last-second win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday when he drilled a 66-yard field goal as time expired. The kick not only allowed Baltimore to escape with a necessary victory on the road, but was also the longest made field goal in league history.
Although the moment was one to celebrate for Tucker and the Ravens, it’s possible that it never should’ve been allowed to happen.
On the play before Baltimore lined up for the game-winning field goal, Lamar Jackson and the offense remained out on the field. The quarterback ended up throwing the ball away with three seconds left so that Tucker could come out and try a field goal.
However, it appeared that the play clock ran down to zero before Jackson snapped the ball on the penultimate play of the game. The CBS broadcast ticker showed no time remaining to start the play, but officials allowed the Ravens to get off scot-free, which resulted in them getting an opportunity for a last second kick.
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg couldn’t believe that Baltimore wasn’t flagged for delay of game. He wrote on social media that he thought the Lions got “royally screwed” because the lack of a penalty allowed the Ravens to come out on top.
“Lions got royally screwed. There was a BLATANT delay of game not called on the previous play. Would’ve made that kick 71 yards. And as we saw, it wouldn’t have reached. (They wouldn’t have tried it.),” Greenberg wrote on Twitter Monday.
#Lions got royally screwed. There was a BLATANT delay of game not called on the previous play. Would’ve made that kick 71 yards. And as we saw, it wouldn’t have reached. (They wouldn’t have tried it.)
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) September 26, 2021
Here’s another look at the play in question:
The Justin Tucker game-winning kick from 66 yards never should have happened. According to CBS broadcast graphic, this should have been a delay of game on Baltimore on the play before the field goal. #Lions #Ravens pic.twitter.com/YnVOuC3KXX
— Jonathan Deutsch (@JonathanD_TV) September 26, 2021
It certainly looks like the play clock strikes zero on the CBS broadcast graphic before the Ravens snap the ball. Although the actual play clock at the stadium might’ve been slightly different, it’s difficult to believe they would be that far apart.
Nevertheless, no flag was thrown and Tucker got a chance to be the hero. The Ravens improved to 2-1, while the Lions fell to 0-3 in Dan Campbell’s first year in the job.
Detroit obviously has the biggest bone to pick with the officials after Sunday’s debacle. The loss is just the latest one in recent memory that came in such devastating fashion and the franchise just can’t seem to catch a break.
The Lions will have a huge opportunity to bounce back in an NFC North rivalry game next week against the Chicago Bears. However, Sunday’s loss to the Ravens will likely sit with them for quite some time.