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NOTEBOOK: Pool report explains delay of game mechanics

Detroit Lions coaches and players were aware after the game of what appeared to be a missed delay of game penalty with the play clock expiring on the play right before Justin Tucker's 66-yard field goal attempt. Tucker's kick hit the crossbar and bounced through as time expired to give the Ravens a 19-17 comeback win over the Lions Sunday at Ford Field.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took the snap after the play clock appeared to go to zero and then threw the ball out of bounds to stop the clock with three seconds left.

Detroit News pool reporter Justin Rogers spoke to referee Scott Novak after the game, who said he hadn't yet had a chance to review the play.

"As far as our mechanics, the back judge is looking at the play clock and if it were to hit zero, he sees the zero, and he then looks to see if the ball is being snapped," Novak said.

"If the ball is being snapped, we will let the play go. If it's not moving, it's delay of game. Those are the mechanics that we apply on that play."

View photos from Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens Week 3 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Sept. 26 in Detroit, MI.

Novak said the back judge was in position to make the call all game and he wouldn't doubt that he was in position on that play.

Both Lions head coach Dan Campbell and quarterback Jared Goff were asked about the play after the game.

"There's nothing I can say to that. Because it's the same thing. Tomorrow you'll get an apology and it doesn't mean anything," Campbell said. "That's life. That's the hand we were dealt and we still had an opportunity. That was fourth and a long way to go and we gave it up."

It's a good point by Campbell. In the end, if the Lions would have made the stop on 4th and 19 a play earlier, this potential missed call would not be an issue.

"Heard about it," Goff said. "They'll say sorry tomorrow."


The Lions' issues on fourth down continue.

In Weeks 1 & 2, the Lions failed to convert a 4th and 1 play deep in opponent territory. One failed via run and the other via pass.

Sunday against Baltimore, Campbell decided to go for it on 4th and 1 on two occasions, once at the Ravens' 38-yard line and another at the Lions' 34-yard line, but they never got a chance to snap the football. False starts by tight end Darren Fells and left tackle Penei Sewell turned 4th and 1 into 4th and 6, and Campbell was forced to punt on both occasions.

Campbell talked after the game about needing to clean up mistakes like this if they're going to take the next step as a team and start winning football games.


The Lions have needed a receiver to step up since Tyrell Williams went down Week 1 with a concussion and was placed on Reserve/Injured. Williams was expected to be Detroit's top receiver coming into the year.

The Lions have relied on tight end T.J. Hockenson and running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams to be big components of their passing game the first two weeks, with second-year receiver Quintez Cephus doing some good things at times too. Swift was still a big part Sunday against the Ravens (seven catches for 60 yards), but it was good to see veteran Kalif Raymond show up in the second half and help lead Detroit's comeback along with Swift.

Raymond was targeted 10 times and finished with six receptions for 68 yards, including a couple key receptions in the final scoring drive for the Lions that gave them a temporary late lead.


  • The Lions still haven't played a complete game, and it's a big reason why they are 0-3. That was definitely on Swift's mind after the game. "There are flashes there," Swift said. "We just have to start from the first whistle and finish to the last whistle."
  • Goff said the Lions ran their best run plays and wanted to burn Baltimore's timeouts late instead of being aggressive and going for the touchdown. They settled for a 35-yard Ryan Santoso field goal. "We did what we wanted to do," Goff said.
  • Detroit had four different players notch a full sack (Alex Anzalone, Charles Harris, Austin Bryant & Romeo Okwara) in a home game for the first time since 2015 vs. Minnesota.

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