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Referees are not popular people.
Regardless of the sport, those wearing the black and white stripes are always going to get criticized. That seems to be even more true in the NFL, but after a couple calls in the Vikings-Lions game on Sunday, any and all criticism is warranted.
Minnesota was leading Detroit 31-29 early in the fourth quarter, but were on the one-yard line going in. But on a fourth-and-goal, safety Tracy Walker III broke through the line of scrimmage and sacked Kirk Cousins for a turnover on downs.
Except, it wasn’t a turnover on downs. There was a roughing the passer penalty that is one of the worst calls this season. Warren Sharp, along with a lot of others on Twitter, wasn’t happy about it.
THE WORST CALL I EVER SAW GET THIS REF OFF MY TV TOTAL GARBAGE pic.twitter.com/sUgJdewXhL
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 3, 2021
I’m not sure what the refs expected Walker to do there, but that’s an atrocious penalty in a crucial moment in the game — shocker, right? That’s not all, though.
Once again, the Lions were within one score in the fourth quarter, this time 37-29 with less than seven minutes on the clock. Marvin Jones — who was incredible in this game, by the way — caught his third touchdown of the game.
Except once again, it was a terrible call that cost Detroit a chance at a tie.
Marvin Jones TD Overturned pic.twitter.com/lp8EzQ1JmR
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) January 3, 2021
Of course, the Vikings ended up winning the game 37-35.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.