On Thursday night, the Detroit Lions — a sad, sad franchise with one playoff victory in 50 years — lost to the Green Bay Packers on a 61-yard Hail Mary touchdown with no time remaining. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the play was the second longest game-ending TD from scrimmage in NFL history.
The Hail Mary was the result of an un-timed down because of a facemask penalty on the previous play. It was a controversial call and one that was somewhat defended by the NFL’s dean of officiating Dean Blandino.
“You know, it’s one that it’s really close and so we made the call. I think when you watch the play live, I was just like everybody else. You thought, “That’s a facemask,” and then you see the replay and it’s a lot closer than it initially seemed. But again, hand up near the mask, finger caught in the bottom bar and the head does turn.”