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Jim Schwartz exasperated by Detroit Lions' penalties

Week 14 included a fantastic collection of great finishes and standout plays. But like so many other weeks this season, we couldn't escape a set of officiating controversies.

There were two questionable calls against Detroit Lions defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter. There were phantom calls of roughing the passer and a holding penalty.

"I honestly don't know what to tell Nick Fairley or Suh on those plays," an exasperated Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday.

Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier also had reason to complain. There was a shaky pass interference call against linebacker Chad Greenway during Baltimore's final drive that overturned a Joe Flacco interception. Greenway's feet incidentally got tangled with tight end Dennis Pitta. There was a far shakier call in the first quarter when a fumble from running back Toby Gerhart was strangely upheld.

Frazier said that he received an unsolicited call Monday morning from an NFL official about the calls in Minnesota's loss. It was the second time this season that happened.

"We did talk about the Gerhart play," Frazier said. "It was a good conversation. The fact that they called should give you an indication of how they felt about things on that day. That was encouraging that they wanted to talk about that game from yesterday."

Frazier didn't want to divulge details of the conversation, but he is intimating that mistakes were made. (And admitted to.)

We've gone this far without even mentioning the two calls that have received the most scrutiny around the country. There was a rough pass interference call against Cleveland at the end of their loss to the Patriots. And Jeff Triplette's decision to overturn a fourth-down stop by the Indianapolis Colts in Cincinnati, thus awarding a touchdown to the Bengals, was one of the most bizarre reversals we've ever seen.

"Jeff Triplette, for the second week in a row, made the kind of decision that makes the American public distrust, if not altogether hate, the officials who work these games," Peter King of wrote Monday. "Triplette made a mockery of the term 'indisputable visual evidence.'"

That might be a little strong, but we've watched the play that Triplette reversed a number of times. It's a hard decision to explain. Too often on Mondays, the conversation around the league has been on trying to explain these calls. We've been focused.

*The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped all the Week 14 games. *

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