Detroit’s regular season opener at Chicago began with momentum on the Lions’ side, but halted after a long touchdown from Matt Forte and the injury of quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford left the game with less than a minute remaining in the first half and wouldn’t return.
The Lions’ offense struggled in the second half, but it seemed things would end on a positive note. After the Bears took the lead with 1:32 remaining in the game, quarterback Shaun Hill connected with wide receiver Calvin Johnson for what appeared to be a potential game-winning touchdown.
The catch was ultimately ruled an incomplete pass, however, based upon the rule that Johnson had to maintain possession of the ball as he got up off the ground.
Johnson, who says he didn’t talk to the officials, said after the game, “It is what it is. You have to move on.”
With obvious emotion following the loss, Johnson recalled what he and Hill talked about prior to the drive.
Johnson: “He said he was going to put it up for me and give me a chance. He gave me that chance and I went up and grabbed it.”
There was no doubt in Johnson’s mind that he came down with the touchdown pass, saying “that’s why I got up right after and took off running.”
Head Coach Jim Schwartz, who was also asked about the play, said, “The officials officiate. They made the call and that’s the way they saw it. When he goes to the ground, as part of the catch and the touchdown, he has to come down with the ball. He didn’t come down with the ball. That play alone didn’t cause us to lose the game.”
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Jim Schwartz, Matthew Stafford
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