It looked like the Lions were going to win. They had trailed the Ravens, 13-0, but had stayed in the game (in part due to three drops by Marquise Brown). They scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half, and took the lead on a field goal with just 1:04 to play in the game. Then Detroit’s defense suffocated Baltimore on the ensuing possession, setting up the Ravens with a fourth-and-19 at their own 16-yard line with 26 seconds left. The game seemed like it was won.
OK, then Sammy Watkins got wide open on fourth down, and caught the ball for a first. But he didn’t get out of bounds! The clock continued to run down, leaving Detroit only seven seconds left after a spike. An incomplete pass on second down meant they had just one play left.
Baltimore brought in heavy-legged kicker Justin Tucker for a 66-yard field goal attempt, an NFL record by two yards. Still seemed like the Lions were going to win. And here’s what happened.
Are you kidding! Losing on a 66-yard field goal—the first time anyone has ever hit one in the NFL—is one thing. Losing on a 66-yard field goal when the ball hits the crossbar, bounces high up in the air and falls over it for the game-winner is crushing.
This is actually the second time Tucker has sunk the Lions on a game-winning kick over 60 yards, he nailed a 61-yard boot against Detroit with 38 seconds left in 2013.
Lions fans in attendance were stuck having to see the Doink That Downed Detroit right in front of their faces. It’s fun to watch the fans here. You can see the ball actually went over pretty easily after the bounce, as people begin celebrating pretty quickly after realizing what was about to happen. (Make sure to also check out how the call played out on Lions radio.)
It was quite a day for Detroit fans, including those that hopped on the Internet to complain about a missed delay of game call on the drive that set up Tucker’s kick. For what it’s worth they also booed Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp during Calvin Johnson’s jersey retirement ceremony at halftime. That, at least, was likely much more fun than the final 26 seconds of the fourth quarter.