On a field accustomed to games that lack a clear and obvious ending point, the conclusion to Sunday’s Lions-Falcons game at Wembley Stadium was anything but clear and obvious.
The Lions attempted a game-winning field goal from 43 yards out with four seconds left. Whistles blew after the errant try from Matt Prater soared, creating the impression that Falcons coach Mike Smith had iced a kicker who already was cold.
But there was no time out from Atlanta; the Lions had failed to get the play started before the play clock got to zero. Per a league source, and despite a claim from FOX’s Mike Pereira that the delay should not have been called because the flag was thrown simultaneously with the clock striking zero, it was a proper call and post-foul administration. Also, because the clock wasn’t running and hadn’t started, no 10-second runoff applied.
And so the penalty wiped out the missed field goal and the nature of the circumstances gave the Lions another shot, from five yards farther back.
Prater made the kick, the Lions win, the Falcons lost for the fifth straight time since trouncing Tampa Bay 56-14, and the Lions enter the bye week at 6-2.