Far be it from me to point to a single missed call by the officiating crew as a big reason the Bears lost to the Detroit Lions, 37-34, in overtime on Sunday, but … the officiating crew missed a blatant holding penalty on Matthew Stafford’s bomb to Calvin Johnson in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal for Detroit.
As Stafford rolled right out of the pocket, Bears outside linebacker Willie Young was in hot pursuit when it appeared a Lions offensive lineman quickly latched on to Young from behind, slowing his pursuit. The lineman let go of Young shortly after grabbing him, making it more difficult for the referee to make the call, but it was still a blatant hold no matter how brief it was.
The Bears lost to the Lions for many reasons, let’s not kid ourselves. The most obvious reason was allowing Stafford way too much time to throw. But on the biggest play of the game, and in the wide open field, how do you not call that penalty?