Desmond Howard, who also won a Heisman Trophy during his career and is currently an ESPN college football analyst, tweeted his frustrations with the officiating Monday.
“The refs need to be investigated. This is horrendous. Check bank accounts. #NoExcuses,” he wrote.
Howard also lamented that Aaron Rodgers leading the Packers to a comeback win over Lions was going to be overshadowed by the officials – who took a major beating from players and social media.
“It is a damn shame that the brilliance of @AaronRodgers12 will take a backseat to TWO ridiculous calls by the officials. He made TWO of the best throws you will see all season.”
Howard, who won Super Bowl XXXI’s MVP award as a member of the Packers, was not the only person to scrutinize the referees during the game. Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders also voiced his opinion on the matter.
“That is sickening... the @NFL needs to look at a way to prevent that from happening. Two phantom hands to the face calls really hurts us tonight. Yes, we could have scored TDs, but @Lions played too well to have the game end this way,” Sanders wrote in a tweet.
The issues stemmed from an unnecessary roughness penalty on Lions defensive back Tracy Walker and an illegal contact penalty on defensive end Trey Flowers.
While referee Clint Blakeman defended Walker’s penalty, NFL executive Troy Vincent said Tuesday the Flowers penalty should not have been called.
Detroit was called for eight penalties for 50 yards in the close loss.