Lions get hosed by officials, lose 23-20 in OT

Joey Harrington vs Cardinals

It had finally all come together for the Detroit Lions on the road. Chris Claiborne intercepted a Jake Plummer pass tipped by Robert Porcher and returned it in position for Detroit to kick the game winning field goal. Finally, Detroit would get the road win to end their four-game losing streak and a fifteen game road losing streak. But no.


(TEMPE, AZ) -- It had finally all come together for the Detroit Lions on the road.

Lions' linebacker Chris Claiborne intercepted a Jake Plummer pass tipped by Robert Porcher and returned it in position for Detroit to kick the game winning field goal. Finally, Detroit would get the road win to end their four-game losing streak and a fifteen game road losing streak.

But no.

The zebras, huddled in secrecy, and head linesman John Schleyer decided that he had seen a personal foul. Robert Porcher dared to touch the helmet and the facemask of quarterback Plummer while tipping the pass that Claiborne intercepted.

Personal foul.

A concurrent personal foul on the Cardinals meant no play, no interception and new life for Arizona.

With a second chance, the Cards drove into Lions territory and kicker Bill Grammatica booted a 42-yard field goal to give the Cardinals the 23-20 overtime win.

Detroit started off the game with a bang when Eddie Drummond returned the first punt of the ballgame 73 yards and a score to give the Lions a 7-0 lead. Arizona's Plummer was able to respond from midfield when a phantom pass interference call on Detroit's Andre Goodman gave the Cardinals a first down at the Detroit 30. After a couple of Marcel Shipps runs set up the Cards at the Detroit 1, Joel Malovicka took it in for the tying score.

The Lions retook the lead when a pass interference call against Arizona's Ray Hill set Detroit up in Cardinal territory at the 37. Lion quarterback Joey Harrington hit Germane Crowell for 19 and a personal foul penalty tacked on to the end of the play set the Lions up for Harrington's pass to Mikhael Ricks to give Detroit a 14-7 lead.

Detroit's Todd Lyght intercepted a Plummer pass and returned it to the 31 yard-line. Jason Hanson converted that turnover into a 26-yard field goal to up the lead to 17-7. Detroit should have been able to take that lead into the locker room at the half, but Drummond muffed the Scott Player punt and the Cards were in business at the Detroit 17 yard-line. Plummer then hit Poole for a 10-yard reception to cut the lead to 17-14 at half.

Detroit took the opening possession of the half and converted it into a 20-yard Jason Hanson field goal to give the Lions a 20-14 lead, but Arizona took over from that point forward. Detroit offense got ultra conservative way too early. Detroit never got past it's own 40-yard line in the 4th quarter. Meanwhile the Cardinals got a 10 play, 64-yard drive for a 29 yard Grammatica field goal and then with 3:27 left in regulation a 41-yard boot to send the game into overtime.

Detroit's Harrington continued his erratic second half performances. Overall Harrington was just 20-of-37 for 152 yards and a touchdown. Plummer wasn't much better, going 24-for-43 for 228 and two touchdowns. Detroit's running star, James Stewart was injured in the game with a recurrance of the neck stinger he suffered in last week's loss to New England Patriots. Stewart got just 52 yards on 13 carries.

Chris Claiborne continued his outstanding play, adding 13 tackles and 1 pass deflection to lead Detroit. The Lions (3-10) will next host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3) at Ford Field

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