I remember watching Agnew let a punt hit the ground instead of fair catching it. The Lions lost what, 10 yards on the fortuitous GB bounce (even the field was against us). And I remember yelling at the TV, “why the F didn’t he go catch the ball, we woulda had better field position even if he just fair catches it”. Welp, there’s a little more to the story:
The Detroit Lions return man let a punt drop and bounce toward his end zone late in the third quarter against Green Bay. Which was sort of odd, because he seemed to be camped out in position for a fair catch at his 26-yard line. Instead, Detroit lost 8 yards of field position before the ball was downed at its 18-yard line.
Turns out, Agnew let the ball drop because it hit a wire that was strung up over the field for ESPN’s skycam, and he wanted to avoid a potential fumble.
“Yeah, it hit the wire – the camera wire,” Agnew said. “I didn’t know if there was a rule or anything.”
There is. Per the NFL rulebook, if a ball strikes a video board, guide wire, Skycam or any other object, the play is waved dead and the down is replayed at the previous spot.
In other words, Green Bay should have been forced to punt again. And considering how dangerous Agnew is with the ball in his hands, there’s no telling what might have happened on a re-do. Instead, the 53-yard punt stood and the Lions took over at their own 18-yard line. The ensuing drive went five plays for 8 yards.
Just add it to the list of suspect and outright blown calls that hurt Detroit in the one-point loss.
“Learn something new every day,” Agnew said.
Not to beat a dead horse, but dayum. The link goes on to talk about HCs around the league asking for a 8th official and/or a ‘sky judge’ that can review plays from up in the booth somewhere that can force a review. You don’t want games lasting for 4 hours or longer, but IMHO there are too many eff-ups around the league and something needs to be done about it.