Matthew Stafford looked to be up to his old fourth-quarter tricks this afternoon. With under 10 seconds remaining, down 30-26 against Atlanta, Stafford threw a touchdown pass to Golden Tate on a goal-line slant route. That touchdown initially seemed to solidify a dream comeback for Detroit, giving them a huge win over a top NFC team after being down 17-3 in the first half.
That’s how it appeared, at least, when Tate’s TD was called a score on the field. In true Lions fashion, however, the call was not only overturned, but without any remaining timeouts, the clock ran down to zeros before Detroit could run another play. The Lions finished just inches short of a 3-0 start and a win against the reigning NFC champs.
It’s the right call, for sure, but the fact that it’s margins this small that can determine a season’s success or failure is painful to think about. The Lions will have to forget quickly and move on fast if they don’t want this missed opportunity to define their year.