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Jim Schwartz thinks a lost challenge helped the Lions

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Lions coach Jim Schwartz made an odd decision to throw a challenge flag on Sunday against the Eagles, arguing that a Michael Vick incompletion had actually been a backward pass, making it a fumble. The officials ruled it a forward pass in real time and the replay review made it clear that was the right call, and it was surprising that Schwartz even challenged it because there was really no angle at all that made it look like a fumble.

But Schwartz said after the game that he thinks that challenge helped the Lions.

According to Schwartz, the delay for the replay review helped the Lions’ defense regroup at the end of a rough series, and was one of the reasons that the Lions held the Eagles (who had second-and-goal from the 3-yard line) to a field goal.

They sort of had us on our heels,” Schwartz said. “It was one of those basketball-type timeouts.”

It worked for the Lions on Sunday, although it’s easy to envision a scenario in which the Lions would have needed that timeout late in the fourth quarter of a game they came back to tie and then win in overtime. Losing a challenge worked out for Schwartz this time, but he probably shouldn’t make a habit of it.

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35 Responses to “Jim Schwartz thinks a lost challenge helped the Lions”
  1. scutzi128 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:20 AM

    Actually a terrible offensive pass interference call helped the Lions. The refs blew another game.

  2. neilanblomi says: Oct 15, 2012 9:26 AM

    Sure Jim..Sure

  3. tecmobowl34 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:26 AM

    Jim Schwartz and Matthew stafford were made for each other in doughy fratboy heaven

  4. ziggy26 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:29 AM

    I agree with Schwartz, and with the current trend of “hurry-up” offenses, I’m surprised we don’t see more teams using timeouts to help their defenses regroup.

    I know it’s not conventional NFL thinking, and that teams treat timeouts and challenges like gold, but defenses are just letting the opposing offenses dictate the pace of the game.

  5. linebusy says: Oct 15, 2012 9:37 AM

    Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t make it “odd”. Also, when it works out for him, you/we kinda lose the right to second-guess with a “shouldn’t make a habit of it.” You/we airmchair enough every week with all the blown opportunities. Sometimes it’s ok to admit a coach/player did right, even if we would have gone another way.

  6. sourdoughsam says: Oct 15, 2012 9:38 AM

    Smart. Although, I wonder how often NFL coaches actually use these challenges as extended time-outs. I have a hard time believing that this is the first time it’s been done.

  7. hisgirlgotburrelled says: Oct 15, 2012 9:43 AM

    The Eagles scored on the very next play, overturned by a very questionable offensive pass interference.

  8. sgtdiver says: Oct 15, 2012 9:46 AM

    “Actually a terrible offensive pass interference call helped the Lions. The refs blew another game”

    Oh right, like the same push off that got called on calvin in the end zone? It was called on both sides so stop crying.

  9. purpleguy says: Oct 15, 2012 9:49 AM

    Great day for MI fans with Tigers and Lions wins — congrats.

  10. FinFan68 says: Oct 15, 2012 9:55 AM

    He lucked into a possible benefit for a dumb move. I don’t believe for a second that he did that as a strategy move.

  11. polegojim says: Oct 15, 2012 10:04 AM

    PS – Lions running game looking MUCH better though. That is supposed to HELP Stafford.

  12. lombarditrophies says: Oct 15, 2012 10:08 AM

    That reminds me of the scene where Pee Wee Herman wipes out on his bike but pops up and says “I meant to do that.”

  13. ocdn says: Oct 15, 2012 10:12 AM

    Instead of throwing a challenge flag to reset the defense, how about challenging the team to playing more disciplined. 16 penalties? Really? This is about coaching and having control of this talented team. And yes, I’m a Lions fan since ’66.

  14. noturavragepunk says: Oct 15, 2012 10:17 AM

    Wouldn’t a timeout do the same thing.

    I guess when it works out in your favor like that(making the stop at the goal line) you have to rationalize you stupid decisions.

  15. ernie ernie says: Oct 15, 2012 10:29 AM

    We weren’t allowed to watch the end of the game in Minnesota because they had to cut away for five mintutes of commercials and then the pre-hype for the Vikings game. Total BS.

    I actually had that thought, Swartz was using the red flag as a guise to give his defense a breather, one that would take longer than a traditional time out.
    Yes you lose a challenge but you gain a time out plus you get your team settled down a little by screwing up the momemtum of the other team.

    The solution for the NFL to stop this from happening and having the fans screwed by this stoppage, give the team one red flag per game.

    Right now the teams can throw it four times plus the time outs. Obviously the additional flag was determined by the sponsors as another way to break for those commercials.

    I swear I missed two kickoffs yesterday as the commercials were running then all of a sudden the other team is moving the ball downfield. That BS has to stop.

  16. conormacleod says: Oct 15, 2012 10:31 AM

    That’s just stupid. If he really wanted to slow down their offense then just call a timeout and regroup. Losing a challenge and a timeout is just moronic. Or, he could just tell the truth. He didn’t have enough time to see a replay so he just chucked the red flag and hoped for the best. This time it didn’t hurt them.

  17. bischof21 says: Oct 15, 2012 10:42 AM

    Those who blindly blame coaches have never coached or played a sport. People always blame coaches first. Hey maybe sometime try actually looking at the people who are actually on the field and in the game. You can tell players how to prepare and what to do. Doesn’t mean they will listen.

  18. hfntsh says: Oct 15, 2012 10:45 AM

    If he needed time for his defense to regroup, what about, you know, taking a time-out?

  19. scutzi128 says: Oct 15, 2012 11:00 AM

    “Oh right, like the same push off that got called on calvin in the end zone? It was called on both sides so stop crying.”

    Obviously you don’t understand the rule because Calvin Johnson extended his arms Brent Celek did not.

  20. dannythebisforbeast says: Oct 15, 2012 11:02 AM

    throwing a flag is a timeout except add the time it takes to review the play. so you get a little additional time. Don’t think he intended it that way. And it didnt help all that much considering a phantom interference was the difference maker.

    Celeks arms not extended equal no push off. NFL and pass interference is ridiculous. Any incomplete pass is immediately followed by a receivers arm goin up begging for a flag and half the time they get it. I know that play was OPI but flag football sucks

  21. easyeddie says: Oct 15, 2012 11:04 AM

    Hilarious stuff from the Lions haters!
    Here’s my favorite: “Actually a terrible offensive pass interference call helped the Lions. The refs blew another game.”
    The Lions pummeled the dog killer all day long.

  22. dougy1970 says: Oct 15, 2012 11:07 AM

    I think every coach should make a pact to give Schwartz the Harbaugh-handshake agreement until Schwartz stops his undignfied, spastic, taunting, post-game fist pumping as he runs out to midfield after a (increasingly rare) LieDowns victory.

  23. wingz101 says: Oct 15, 2012 11:21 AM

    Seriously can anyone not cut this guy a break? Instead of a 30 second time out, he got a nearly 4 minute “time out” – his challenge was like calling a time out but it was LONGER.

    For the slow witted out there, longer means more rest for the defense!

    The Lions won which is what counts, but Raiola and Backus were awful once again. Everyone on the o-line got at least 1 penalty. Raiola even got a completely amateurish motion call when he tried to draw the Eagles off side. Backus once again committed rookie like infractions when ever the Lions got going. How Rieff and Fox cannot get in there is a real mystery. They must really be bad.

    Lastly, I am not sure how anyone can say anything about PI’s that saved the Lions. The Eagles got away with at least three blatant holds in coverage and Jackson took a swing at DeAndre Levy and connected – fully replayed on Camera by the Fox crew – with an official looking right at him and then just telling the Lions LB to back away. No call. Somehow though they saw some Eagle guy (Cox) punching people at the bottom of a pile of guys during a scrum …. right.

  24. dadawg77 says: Oct 15, 2012 11:40 AM

    With the new rules on every scoring and turnover being reviewed, challenges are less precious then last year. Thus if a big call is close and the d needs a rest to prevent a game ending score, might as well use the challenge as if you lose you just get a longer timeout. So its big win vs small win scenario there. Then again I’m not sure that what he was thinking but he just was trying to retroactively justify it.

  25. lushy21 says: Oct 15, 2012 11:42 AM

    This Lion’s team looked like the one from last year, Tonz of penalties, average DB play, good pressure from the D line, stagnant offense for three quarters and lights out in the 4th for a WIN!

    Not pretty but I will take it

  26. sdroar says: Oct 15, 2012 12:06 PM

    C’mon guys. The challenge lacked merit. He’s not contending otherwise. He’s just saying there was an unexpected silver lining to the dark cloud.

    The offensive interference call was BAD.

  27. lionsdraftguy says: Oct 15, 2012 12:23 PM

    Quit crying eagles fans.

  28. drpompanoduke says: Oct 15, 2012 12:42 PM

    Eagles cry just like their QB ……last place Vick wanted to be yesterday was at a football game.

  29. jimw81 says: Oct 15, 2012 12:53 PM

    Lions won the game on Ndamukong Suh tip ball on a third down that led to Burleson TD on following possession.

  30. rmc1995 says: Oct 15, 2012 1:11 PM

    Calling a timeout in that situation is showing your team and the opposing team you may be panicked, confused, or desperate. Using a challenge allows the defense to regroup without tipping off you are having problems that need to be addressed with a timeout. Rather, it’s “Hey, while we are waiting for this challenge let’s think about the situation we are in.”

    Or he could have had a tomato flop with an “injury.”

    Psychological warfare at its best.

  31. jimmylions says: Oct 15, 2012 1:15 PM

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the people blaming the refs for the Eagles loss aren’t actually Philly fans, they’re just guys who love any excuse to hate on the Lions and Jim Schwartz.

    Also, the refs weren’t the ones who gave up back-to-back sacks on Michael Vick at the end of the game … that was the Eagles o-line who suddenly decided to stop playing. That’s the kind of heartbreak Lions fans know all too well.

    And yup – I’m in agreement with the rest of the commenters that this isn’t the first time a coach threw a red flag to give his team a breather. For the people saying, “Why not just call a time out?”, I suggest paying attention to how long it takes for the refs to go under the hood and make a call. Sometimes that process takes forever.

  32. granadafan says: Oct 15, 2012 1:53 PM

    The NFL Competition Committee needs to review sneaky “Challenges” like in this situation. Kudos to Schwartz for playing within the rules if not in the spirit of the rules though. The NFL should make it a rule that if a challenge is called, then the players have to stay on the field with no coaches. They can get water, but no coaching.

  33. richdaddy2377 says: Oct 15, 2012 1:53 PM

    scutzi128 says:
    Oct 15, 2012 9:20 AM
    Actually a terrible offensive pass interference call helped the Lions. The refs blew another game.

    Actually even though they did blow that call the Eagles had plenty of chances to win, so no the refs did not blow this game for the eagles. scutzii28 you sound like a Yankee fan, sour milk. Detroit is playing the smallest violins in the world for all Philly and Yankee fans and Laughing at you all the while.

  34. thestrategyexpert says: Oct 15, 2012 2:08 PM

    Umm he could have used a regular timeout for a basketball timeout without it affecting his challenge bank.

  35. justumuch says: Oct 15, 2012 6:01 PM

    Philly should get the blame not a phantom missed call. They were up the whole second half and up by 10 with 3:30 left! Then they got the ball first in OT! How many chances do they need to win the game!?!

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