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Lions Coach Jim Schwartz blows challenge, chance to beat Texans

November 22, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, shown during Sunday's game against Green Bay, was a little quick with the challenge flag on Thursday.
Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, shown during Sunday's game against Green… (Leon Halip / Getty Images )

Lions Coach Jim Schwartz made a mistake that probably cost Detroit a chance to beat the Houston Texans in the first game of a Thanksgiving Day tripleheader.

In a back-and-forth game that ended with the Texans winning in overtime, 34-31, Schwartz threw the challenge flag on a disputed touchdown pass play by Houston.

One problem. All touchdowns are automatically reviewed in NFL games. So, the challenge flag is kind of like piling on the officials, who promptly handed out an unsportsmanlike penalty, subsequently negating a review of the play.

Second problem, Houston running back Justin Forsett was down by contact on the play. He turned a short pass into a long gain down the middle of the field. When he was tackled near the 50-yard line, he spun to the ground, quickly bounced to his feet and sprinted to the end zone.

Since no officials blew a whistle, it was called an 81-yard touchdown. Then Schwartz challenged the play before officials could head to the sideline to analyze the replay, which clearly showed Forsett's left knee and elbow made contact with the ground. The play would have resulted in a first down but no touchdown.

Schwartz could be seen on the sideline tapping his chest and mouthing the words, "It's on me."

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