Late in the fourth quarter of a Thanksgiving classic between the Texans and Lions, Houston defensive end J.J. Watt put his helmet into the chest of Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The helmet ended up in Stafford’s chin, but no flag was thrown.
The league office has now admitted in a roundabout way that a penalty was in order. Watt has been fined $15,750 for striking the quarterback in the head/neck area.
The Lions would have/should have/could have gotten a first down at the Texans’ 30, with enough time to get closer and try for a game-winning field goal.
So even though coach Jim Schwartz should be blaming himself for that red-flag rigmarole, Schwartz and the Lions have every reason to be miffed about a missed call that could have put them at 5-6 and still in the thick of the wild-card chase.