First things first: Lions coach Jim Schwartz is not blaming the odd fourth quarter personal foul call on Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for Detroit’s loss to Chicago on Sunday.
“I want to be very clear — the penalty had nothing to do with us giving up a touchdown on the very next play,” Schwartz said on Monday. “It had nothing to do with our inability to move the ball on offense after that or inability to get a stop at the end of the game.”
And with that out of the way, Schwartz went on to share his real feelings about the call.
“It’s been reported that the flag was thrown because [Bears quarterback Jay] Cutler was hit in the back of the head when he was in the process of going down. I think it’s fairly obvious that neither of those ended up being correct,” Schwartz said via MLive.com.
Referee Ed Hochuli said after the game that Suh’s hit on a rushing Cutler was an “an unnecessary nonfootball act–a blow to the back of the runner’s helmet in the process of him going down.”
Video review of the play (skip to 1:50) seems to show clearly Cutler wasn’t hit in the helmet. And he probably wasn’t going down before Suh hit him. Hochuli doesn’t have the benefit of video review, however, and this just seems to be a case of a blown call. It happens.
“I know he wasn’t hit in the head and I know he wasn’t going down, I know that for sure,” Schwartz said. “There are a lot of things that somebody thinks they see on the field, they think he stepped out of bounds but he really didn’t, or they think it was a facemask and it really wasn’t. That stuff occurs, it happens in the game.”