Oct. 17, 2019
"The Stack" 10-15-19
It looks like a penalty, but it isn't. Yet the officials in Monday night's called illegal use of hands to the face twice on Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers. It played a huge roll in the Packers beating the Lions 23-22.
The Stack is back on this Monday and we have plenty to get to today. From the NFL to baseball and more, it’s a whole smorgasbord of topics so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Tuesday, October 15th:
Packers earn controversial win over Lions on MNF
The credibility of the NFL is at stake this Tuesday morning after the Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 23-22. To be a little more accurate, the officials beat the Lions on MNF. The Lions came out firing, doing a flea-flicker on the first play of the game. IT went for 66 yards. But the Lions could only muster a field goal. That would be the theme of the night. The Lions kept getting to the red zone and kept coming away with field goals. They scored one touchdown and that was in the first quarter.
It was 13-0 when the Packers lined up for a field goal. The Lions had twelve players on the field. First down for the Packers. They would score a touchdown moments later. That was a killer for Detroit. But the real controversy came in the second half where on the first play from scrimmage of the second half, an unnecessary roughness penalty was called against the Lions on a bang-bang play with Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison. It was not a good call. Later, in the fourth quarter, Lions defense end Trey Flowers got called for illegal use of hands to face on Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. Only problem is that Flowers’ hands were on the jersey. They were high no the jersey, but they were not on the face or neck. The Packers took advantage of the penalty. That wasn’t even the worst call. With the Packers driving late in the game on a third and five, Flowers got called for the same penalty again and this was an even more egregious miss. Flowers hands were on the shoulder pad of Bakhtiari. Maybe Bakhtiari sold it, but was an absolutely terrible call. Mason Crosby kicked a game-winning field goal and the Packers won 23-22.
The Lions are upset and rightfully so. Lions fans are ticked and rightfully so. NFL fans in general are upset and rightfully so. Not just that the Packers got all of the calls at home in a primetime game, but it’s because the calls that went against the Lions were so egregious. The NFL has to do something about this. They have to either have an official review the video in real time at the stadium and talk in the ear of the ref when everyone is congregating. Something has to happen. The credibility of the NFL is on the line. It is plummeting and the NFL simply can’t ignore it anymore. Good thing the owners are getting together for meetings today. While they are at it, fix pass interference replay and make it non-reviewable too. The outcome of the season has already been altered and that’s not good.
MLB Playoffs update
What a game between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros Sunday night. Carlos Correa was the difference maker making a great play in the sixth inning when he ran over after a ball deflected off the second baseman and threw a dart home where DJ Lemahieu was easily out. Correa then won the game on a homerun in the bottom of the eleventh. Astros win 3-2 and evened the series up 1-1. The game took nearly five hours. That is too long. Gerrit Cole is on the mound tonight for game three (4:08 PM ET FS1). He has won 18 straight decisions so that means he is going to lose tonight because everyone is talking about his dominance.
In the NL, the Washington Nationals are rolling. They are using the momentum of the NLDS game five win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and torching the St. Louis Cardinals. They won 8-1 Monday night. Stephen Strasburg was great on the mound for the Nationals. The Cardinals have no answers with their bats. The Nationals are just that much more dominant. This series will wrap up in the next day or two. Games can be found on TBS.
College football weekend recap
Perhaps the stunner of the college football season happened Sunday in Athens, Georgia, where South Carolina beat #3 Georgia 20-17. South Carolina did everything they could to give this game away. They had penalties on the game-tying touchdown drive by Georgia late in the fourth quarter. They attempted a 57-yard field goal that missed and gave Georgia the ball at the 40 with 45 seconds left. Too bad Kirby Smart and Georgia took a class in poor clock management earlier in the week because that is exactly what they did. They didn’t even get a chance at a game-winning field goal because of their ineptness on that drive. In overtime, Georgia threw an interception on their first drive of the game, but South Carolina missed a field goal on their possession. In the second overtime, all the Gamecocks could muster was a field goal, but fear not, Georgia didn’t do anything on their drive (like so many drives throughout the game) and arguably the best kicker in the land, Rodrigo Blankenship, missed a 42-yard field goal wide left. South Carolina prevailed. Georgia’s playoff hopes aren’t done, but they need a lot to happen.
Any questions regarding #5 LSU quarterback Joe Burrows were answered Saturday night. His performance was masterful in LSU’s 42-28 win over #7 Florida. The LSU defense wasn’t great in the first half, but they made the necessary adjustments at halftime and were great in the second half, allowing only seven points. This LSU team is for real and will be a different team when they go into Tuscaloosa in a few weeks.
The Red River Rivalry was a barnburner at half. 10-3 in favor of #6 Oklahoma. At the half! It could have been more if the #11 Texas defense hadn’t come to play. The second half was much more high-scoring. Jalen Hurts and the Sooners offense was too much for Sam Ehlinger and Texas. The Longhorns hopes of making the College Football Playoff is all but over. I shouldn’t have taken them.
#9 Notre Dame perhaps had their game against USC a little too close. 30-27. Gotta be better Notre Dame, but they got the win. USC gave up more points in that game than #6 Wisconsin has all season. Yes, Wisconsin posted their fourth shutout of the season with a 38-0 rout of Michigan State. They have given up 29 points all year! That is crazy. #10 Penn State took down #17 Iowa 17-12 in a barnburner. Good for Penn State.
There were some great finishes over the weekend. Washington State and #18 Arizona State went back and forth with Arizona State scoring at the end and taking a 38-34 lead. They would go on to win by that score. Fun game. How about the double overtime game between Texas Tech and #22 Baylor? Baylor had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but the ball went right through Mims, the Baylor wide receiver’s hands, and they had to settle for a field goal. Baylor though would win, 33-30 in double overtime. And what a game between Louisville and Wake Forest. Louisville stormed out to a big lead, but Wake Forest battled back and had a chance to win, but couldn’t recover the onside kick. 62-59…that is what Louisville would win by. Wonder if the basketball score between the two teams will match that scoring.
Should have another good week of college football next week. It will be here before we know it.
NBA & China thoughts
Before I go, a couple of quick thoughts on the NBA and China situation/fiasco that went down last week. While Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey probably shouldn’t have sent the tweet about freeing Hong Kong, to think China would react the way they did is a little absurd. It put the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets players and coaches in a difficult position, but that may have had more to do with Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA fumbling their initial statement. China has gone all out in threatening the NBA with cancelling preseason games and G-League games and sponsors are pulling out of deals.
The NBA has hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of potential revenue in China. We’ll see if China pulls regular season NBA games from their state run TV station. The NBA is really in a lose-lose situation here with only a sliver of hope of salvaging the relationship without any fallout. They can defend Morey’s right to free speech (which they have) and China will continue to disassociate itself with the NBA and the NBA loses all of the revenue or the NBA can fire Morey, appease the Chinese and damage their relationship with the NBA players. NBA players have been given the green light to speak out on social issues. This is a social issue. If Morey is fired, players will not feel that same sense of security they once had.
To cap it all off, LeBron James spoke Monday night before the Lakers preseason game and used the word “uneducated” regarding Morey and the tweet and the whole China situation. He later tweeted a clarification that Morey was uneducated about the ramifications of his tweet, but damage has occurred. This may go away. It may not. We’ll see what James says next. It may not be good, whatever he says.
Coming up Thursday: MLB Playoff update, TNF preview & college football weekend forecast