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Dec 11, 2023Liked by Chris Liss

I'm convinced Goff has a hand injury that they aren't disclosing. He has been wearing gloves which is something he doesn't typically do. He hasn't been the same since the Chargers game, and in the games since then, has been a different guy... "Just a Guy," and not his "Jim-dandy Guy" self. (Best I could do)

I'd like to take this time to selfishly fly off the handle and bitch about a horrendous call that occurred during the Lions/Bears game which totally changed the outcome of the game. My apologies for the essay.

13-13 late in the 3rd quarter, 3rd and 13, around the Lions 35 yard line. Fields drops back a solid ten yards, is hit, slowly dragged to the ground, and then haphazardly throw/chucks the ball near his offensive linemans butt. In attempts at recovery by both teams, the ball bounces backward another 10 yards before a Bear falls on it.

In real time, it appears to be a fumble, which would put the Bears in the neighborhood of 4th and 30 to 35-ish, obvious punt. Viewing the replay, it's clear Fields arm is going forward, so it wasn't a fumble, but it appears to be an obvious grounding call, and should be about 4th and 23, still obvious punt. The refs deliberate, and rule that "there was no grounding, as the contact from the pass-rusher effected the pass attempt.

Bears go for it on 4th and 13 in field goal/punt-purgatory-field position and Fields hits DJ Moore on a 35 yard TD on a free play because a Lion jumped offside. Now you shouldn't jump offside on a 4th and 13, but it's difficult to play defense 40 seconds after you thought you had a 4th and 35-punt, NOPE a 4th and 23-punt, NOPE, a 4th and 13 and now you need to mentally gear up for one more down.

The horseshit part of the whole deal is, yes, contact can negate grounding, I'm well aware of that; but not in this instance. If Fields was standing, clean, attempting to pass, and in that process, was hit by a pass-rusher while attempting the pass, then yes, I agree no grounding. Makes sense, as any errant, inaccurate pass resulting from contact would be ruled grounding and the game would be broken without a rule stating otherwise.

Grounding is absolutely a penalty however, when as you're getting dragged down, and having made no prior attempt to throw the ball, at the last second then decide to intiate the passing process by chucking it at an ineligible players ass, it is most certainly intentional grounding, the very definition of the word "intentional."

To further illustrate how dumb the rule would be if the call on the field was correct (which it wasn't)...

If a QB was scrambling under duress to avoid a sack and before being hit threw the ball away to no one to avoid the likely sack, thats grounding. BUT if the QB was under MORE Duress, while he was actually hit, and then decided to throw the ball to no one, then it's no grounding because contact effected the pass? Obviously the second instance is more dire than the first, and the "intentional" aspect of grounding is even more apparent and egregious of an infraction.

It's this stupid BS that makes the NFL really tough to digest at times. I've seen this call butchered many times before, as if the refs flip-flop the interpretation of the rule from game to game depending on the stakes. Not just this rule, but many others. You'll see it ruled one game because of "x" caveat, and then ruled the other way because of completely opposite of "x" caveat, as if we forgot the first instance and precedence was never set.

It gives credence to the people who claim the game is fixed. "Where is the money?" "Who is nationally televised next?" "Are we in need of a more compelling wild card/divisional race?" Often times I wonder if this is being discussed while the refs are deliberating.

This isn't to say the Lions played like shit. They did. And have been of late. That play also totally effected the game. Both things can and are true.

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