Way back before the whole “handshake thing” between Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh occurred, the two head coaches had friction on a play that had happened in a previous meeting. FOX’s Mike Pereira (the former official) wrote about Harbaugh and Schwartz’s initial spat, which was highlighted by Schwartz yelling “Know the rules!”
Detroit had the ball, third-and-10 from the San Francisco 16-yard line with 4:44 left in the first quarter. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw 16 yards to Brandon Pettigrew for a touchdown.
As he was being tackled by Patrick Willis, Willis stripped the ball out of Pettigrew’s hands, but Pettigrew was already down. Harbaugh tried to challenge the ruling, but was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.
While replay did its job on this play, confirming the ruling, Harbaugh attempted to challenge the ruling on the field and was hit with the penalty. Coaches are not allowed to challenge inside of two minutes if they are out of challenges, if they are out of timeouts or if a play is ruled a score.
Harbaugh deserved the penalty, but didn’t deserve the verbal abuse that came from the Lions coach on the other sideline. Schwartz was seen on television mocking Harbaugh by yelling something like, “Know the rules,” except with a little off-color language thrown in.
Today, the Texans were beneficiaries of a terrible call on the field that was unquestionably going to be overturned by the automatic TD review, which was similar to the one that prompted Schwartz to insult Harbaugh. In an act of anger (I’m guessing?), Schwartz threw his challenge flag. The play then became unreviewable, and the TD stood… even though Schwartz supposedly already knew the rules.