Lions burned by multiple officiating gaffes late in MNF loss to Packers
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NFL referees did nothing to rehabilitate their image during a divisional clash between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.

The matchup featured a number of questionable calls, but the officials really drew the ire of both Lions fans and the general football public during a fourth-quarter comeback from the Packers.

Detroit sacked quarterback Aaron Rodgers on a third-and-10 play with just over 10 minutes remaining, which would have forced the Packers to punt trailing 22-13. But an illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty on Lions pass-rusher Trey Flowers wiped out the sack and gave Green Bay an automatic first down.

Replays didn't exactly back up the call on the field.

"I didn't think hands to the chest was a penalty," Flowers said after the game, according to ESPN's Michael Rothstein. "I thought hands to the face. But I had them right here on the chest."

Just three plays later, Rodgers hit receiver Allen Lazard with a 35-yard strike to bring the Packers within two points.

The touchdown wasn't without controversy of its own, though, as the booth confirmed the scoring play - thus opting against a more extensive review - despite video appearing to show Lazard down by contact short of the goal line.

After a punt by the Lions, Rodgers was given a chance to lead a game-winning drive. The former MVP pushed the ball inside the Lions' 20-yard line, where the Packers failed on a third-and-4 with 1:36 to play.

A field goal by Green Bay would have left Detroit with some time to attempt a game-winning drive of its own, but another phantom illegal-hands-to-the-face call on Flowers resulted in a first down.

"I actually changed the position of my hands, because it was to the chest initially," Flowers said of the second penalty. "I was doing it all game. I didn't know that was a flag to the chest, so I could change it to (motioning somewhere else on his chest). They called it again."

The penalty allowed the Packers to run the clock all the way down before Mason Crosby came on to drill a 23-yard field goal that put Green Bay up 23-22 as time expired.

Referee Clete Blakeman offered the following explanation for the flags on Flowers as part of the postgame pool report, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN:

"The umpire threw both of them. The last one was really the only one I’ve discussed with him. Basically, it's for illegal use of the hands, hands-to-the-face foul. To be a foul, we basically need some forceful contact that's prolonged to the head and neck area of the defender, So, in his mind he had pinned him back, it was prolonged, and that's what created the foul."

The Packers took advantage of the controversial calls to improve to 5-1 on the season, while the loss dropped the Lions to 2-2-1.

Lions burned by multiple officiating gaffes late in MNF loss to Packers
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