The Eagles’ last drive of the first half this afternoon was an absolute disaster for all parties involved.
The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 3:08 to go, down 21-7 after Matthew Stafford threw his third touchdown of the afternoon. The Birds had work to do.
So did the referees, apparently.
The refs called five — count ‘em, FIVE — penalties on a drive that moved 43 yards in three minutes. And there were a few that… hoo boy, our heads were spinning.
No. 1, 1:37 left
The Eagles had the ball at the 50 yards line. Carson Wentz missed a pass to Nelson Agholor over the middle, but that didn’t matter, because Darren Sproles was called for a chop block. 15 yard penalty. Back it up, Birds.
No. 2, 1:22 left
This was the best one of the drive. Just incredible stuff. Carson Wentz rolled to the right and launched a bullet of a throw to Jordan Matthews’ back shoulder. Matthews turned around in the air, grabbed the ball, and turned up field. He was stripped by a Vikings defender, but it was ruled a catch.
The problem? The refs thought Eagles DEFENSIVE LINEMAN Connor Barwin was ineligible downfield. Which is fun. Because he very obviously wasn't on the field.
They then looked at the catch, ruled it was a catch and a fumble, and TOTALLY IGNORED the Barwin penalty.
Here’s the final play-by-play entry for that play:
(1:22 - 2ND) (SHOTGUN) C.WENTZ PASS DEEP RIGHT TO J.MATTHEWS PUSHED OB AT DET 38 FOR 27 YARDS (Q.DIGGS). THE REPLAY OFFICIAL REVIEWED THE FUMBLE RULING, AND THE PLAY WAS REVERSED. (SHOTGUN) C.WENTZ PASS DEEP RIGHT TO J.MATTHEWS TO DET 38 FOR 27 YARDS (Q.DIGGS). FUMBLES (Q.DIGGS), BALL OUT OF BOUNDS AT DET 38
A little internet reaction:
I don't know what's happening.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroCSN) October 9, 2016
Wtf is going on?— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 9, 2016
No. 3, 1:00 left
Carson Wentz missed a pass on the right side of the field to Zach Ertz, but, again, it didn't matter. The refs called a holding penalty on Allen Barbre. 10 yards. March it back again, Birds.
No. 4, 0:19 left
The Eagles have 3rd & 26 on the Lions’ 43 yard line. They’re just trying to get into field goal range after the litany of penalties. Zach Ertz catches a 10-yard pass, but WAIT! Offensive pass interference called on Ertz. Because penalties are the best part of football games.
No. 5, 0:11 left
THIRD AND THIRTY SIX. That is more than one-third of the football field. Carson Wentz sat back, launched a bullet to (who else?) Zach Ertz, who caught the ball for a 21-yard gain, and another flag came flying into the fray. On the Eagles? No. On the fifth call, the Eagles rested. Defensive pass interference on the Lions, which was declined.
The dang doomed, disastrous ended in a 50-yard field goal from Caleb Sturgis. All that work for three points.