Prior to Monday night's game against the Packers, his 51st in the NFL, Trey Flowers had never been flagged for illegal hands to the face. That included three games during his Patriots career for which Jeff Rice was the umpire.
“I went over to the ref. I said, ‘Hey, are we not calling hands to the face again? Because the past three plays, I’ve been staring at the sky.’ And he’s like, you know, he’s not looking at my side, but I at least made him aware.”
“I can definitely tell you,” Bakhtiari said, “for a good portion of the game, I was getting my throat punched in, and I was looking up at the sky a fair amount. If you think about it, if your hand is in my throat, you’re probably hitting my facemask, which is pushing my head up in the sky.”
Flowers was at a loss after the game.
"I didn’t think hands to the chest was a penalty," he said. "I thought hands to the face, but I had him right here on the chest."
Asked if he thought the Lions had a right to question the call, Bakhtiari wouldn't say.
“They’re going to go both ways. You’re going to get calls for you, and you’re going to get calls against you. Fortunately, those two calls went in our favor, and from my vantage point, I’m just looking up at the sky, he said. "It can go both ways. That’s the way I’m going to look at it. That’s what I’m going to say.”