Eric Ebron is not a happy man. He doesn’t feel that the NFL’s officials have given his Lions a fair shake, and he’s not afraid to talk about it.
After a 21-14 loss to the Rams which saw multiple contested calls (or no-calls) go against the Lions, Ebron spoke out against the officials.
“When you play here (for the Lions) it’s always more than 11 on 11….The term Detroit vs. Everybody didn’t come out for no reason,” Ebron said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “That’s how it is. It’s us against the world and we got to play like it every game.”
Wow, Eric. Stop beating around the bush. Just tell us how you really feel.
When asked why this is the case, Ebron’s response was frame-worthy.
“Who knows? I wasn’t here for the past thousands of years this team been. I’ve only been here for two years and I’ve seen it all in two years. So that’s just the way we set up in Detroit.”
It hasn’t quite been thousands of years of losing for the Lions, but we’ll cut Ebron some slack.
This is not the first time this season that Ebron has been critical of the NFL’s officials. As a matter of fact, it’s not even the first time this month. After a Dec. 3 loss on the now famous Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers Hail Mary, Ebron took to Twitter to state his disagreement with the controversial face mask penalty that allowed the final play to even take place.
The Lions definitely have a gripe.
In addition to the contested plays against the Rams and Packers, the memory of the Seahawks’ illegal bat from earlier this season can’t be far from the minds of the Detroit players, coaches, and fans. The same can be said for the picked up pass interference on Dallas’ Anthony Hitchens from last year’s playoffs.
I personally applaud Ebron for making these points. When social media is available in instances like the Rodgers’ face mask, there’s no problem in posting it. Everyone in the NFL needs to be held accountable, and the officials are no exception.
But the Lions themselves also need to be held accountable.
If they play a pretty basic Hail Mary defense, they certainly beat the Packers. If Calvin Johnson doesn’t fumble the ball on his way into the end zone, there’s no illegal bat and the Lions probably win that game, too. If Detroit doesn’t blow a 20-7 lead in last season’s playoff, the reversed pass interference against the Cowboys’ Anthony Hitchens doesn’t matter as much.
The referees have their say in the games, but the Lions do too. If Ebron is publicly calling out poor officiating, that’s fine. But behind closed doors, the Lions need to be asking what they themselves are doing to contribute to the 4-9 record.
The bad calls going against you are one thing, and that can certainly be frustrating. But the Lions have been given chances to make at least some of those calls moot, and they haven’t done that.