Perhaps the worst call the NFL has seen this season is to blame for giving the Packers one final play in Thursday night's "Miracle in Motown."
A 15-yard face-mask penalty gave Aaron Rodgers one final play, and he connected on a 61-yard "Hail Mary" to tight end Richard Rodgers with no time on the clock, giving the Packers an improbable 27-23 victory over the Detroit Lions.
The win puts the Packers at 8-4, just a half-game behind the Vikings who play the defending conference champion Seahawks on Sunday.
If Minnesota falls to 8-4 with a loss, the Packers will be back on top of the division because they beat the Vikings two weeks ago. A win will keep the Vikings a game on top of the Packers, but a win and a Packers loss would have meant a two-game cushion for the purple.
Alas, the flag was thrown on a play in which a Lions defensive lineman got his thumbnail on Rodgers' face-mask, which was enough to draw the penalty. See the play and decide for yourself if the flag should have been thrown.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tweeted that he didn't think it was enough to garner a flag.
Fellow Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon was also ticked off.
The NFL's V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino had this to say in a statement after the game.
“It’s a close play, but even looking at the replay, the hand is up near the mask, the finger looks like it gets caught in the mask and the head gets turned. So I’m not convinced it wasn’t a facemask even looking at the replay, but live at full speed the referee is going to see that hand at the mask and the head turn and he’s going to make that call every time.”