The controversy came because Richardson very clearly used his other hand to grab a defender's facemask.
*Referee clears his throat— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) January 8, 2017
Pass interference on the one guy whose head is no longer connected to his neck. pic.twitter.com/Sfk47xGTYX
And it won't make the Lions or Lions fans very happy, but the officials reportedly admitted to coach Jim Caldwell they screwed up on the play.
After halftime of the game, NBC's Michelle Tafoya reported that Caldwell told her the refs admitted to messing up.
"I talked to Jim Caldwell at halftime and I asked him about the Paul Richardson touchdown you just referred to," Tafoya reported. "The facemask that wasn't called -- I asked him what the officials told him about that no call and he told me, simply, 'They said they got it wrong.'"
That's a dagger for the Lions, because the play came on fourth down -- the penalty would've backed up the Seahawks to the point where they would've been forced to kick a field goal. Assuming they make the kick, it would've been 6-6 very late in the game.
Seattle eventually pulled away regardless (taking a 26-6 lead with less than three minutes to play), but that also wasn't the only instance of the refs appearing to job Detroit during the game.
If this isn't interference or at least defensive holding, let's stop playing football pic.twitter.com/VExfR5132A— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) January 8, 2017
HOW THE HELL IS THIS ROUGHING THE PASSER? pic.twitter.com/xpon6d2Zhu— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) January 8, 2017
It was an all-around bad game for the refs and most of the calls that were questionable went against the Lions. Including a critical one on the first play, which, even though it came on a scoring play, wasn't reviewable.