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|Amid some backbiting following their loss to the Patriots, the Lions take their turn in the exam room.|
Lions coach Jim Schwartz was obviously upset about the call against Pettigrew, as well as a pass interference penalty on linebacker DeAndre Levy that gave the Patriots a third-down conversion in the second quarter. Here's what Schwartz said: "The fact is, when you're a 2-9 football team, you're not going to get those calls. When you're a 9-2 team, you're going to get those calls. That's the way the NFL is. It's close games and we don't have the reputation of being a team that makes those plays. We need to make those plays and then complain about officiating." I agree with part of what Schwartz said. The Lions shouldn't expect to get marginal calls. But I don't think it's because they are 2-9 this season. It's because they continue to play sloppy, undisciplined football. Questionable calls aside, the Lions made plenty of unambiguous mistakes Thursday. If officials are inclined to be influenced in any way, it's for that reason. Penalties and mistakes beget more penalties and mistakes.