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Nevin Lawson flagged for 66-yard PI call, longest in 15 seasons

A 66-yard pass interference penalty enforced Sunday on Detroit Lions defensive back Nevin Lawson was the longest such penalty in at least 15 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The previous long during that time period was a 60-yard pass interference call against Cleveland Browns cornerback Mike Adams in a 2010 game against the Baltimore Ravens. ESPN's penalty database starts with the 2001 season.

The penalty occurred on the first play of the second quarter after Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw incomplete on a deep pass to receiver Ty Montgomery. Lawson and Montgomery's feet got tangled as they fell to the ground, and referee Carl Cheffers' crew called Lawson for pass interference.

The play allowed the Packers to escape a second-and-11, moving the ball from their 32-yard line to the Lions' 2-yard line. Rodgers threw a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Richard Rodgers on the next play, putting the Packers ahead 21-3.

Pass interference in the NFL is a spot foul, meaning the ball is moved from the original line of scrimmage to wherever the penalty occurred. NCAA rules, however, limit pass interference to 15 yards regardless of how long the throw was attempted.