One thing is for sure, the Harbaugh Family will have plenty to talk about the next few years as both were one play away from the SuperBowl. The Ravens have to be expecially sick sense it seems their fans can point at many different plays where things could have turned out differently.
The Ravens season is filled with "Ifs..." If the Ravens had just beat one of the teams they loss to, this game could have been played in Baltimore, not New England. Of course when you look at how this game turned out, it seemed you could pin point several times where the Ravens could have won this game. The one play in particular is the 3rd & 6 where they hand it off to Rice on a draw and it went nowhere. After that, the Ravens battled back and with under a minute left, the Ravens were in field goal range.
They moved closer and it seemed we were once again about to try out the new overtime rules, but Billy Cundiff missed the kick and the Patriots won. After examining the final couple plays of the game again, it seemed the Refs decided to choose the outcome by missing two huge plays, including one where we should be talking about the Baltimore Ravens going to the Super Bowl, not the New England Patriots.
Game saving hero Sterling Moore, had committed a illegal touching penalty which normally the officials are quick to throw the flag on that. This time, the refs decided to keep the flag in their pockets. Now I’m all for letting the players play since there are already too many rules that limit defenses as it is, but I wouldn’t be surprised that the flag would have been thrown for PI if this was the Patriots driving trying to win the game. Now remember, earlier in the game Brady threw a interception and wouldn’t you know it, a flag. They called Cornerback Lardarius Webb for illegal contact on a Benard Pollard interception. Now again, would the flag been thrown if say it wasn’t intercepted? Would the flag been thrown if it was incomplete, probably not.
Now let’s go to the end of the game. Back to the play of Sterling Moore, now before I get to the Lee Evans touchdown call, before that play, Moore had both of his hands on the tight end’s waist which should have been called for illegal touching since the ball hadn’t even been thrown yet. This should have gave the Ravens a new set of downs, now to get to what should have sent the Ravens to Indianapolis. It was similar to Pittsburgh except Lee Evans is playing the part of Torrey Smith. Evans had caught the ball in the end zone and seemed to be the game winner. Yet the officials did not call it a touchdown as Moore knocked it loose, but after further review, Evans took two steps in the end zone with full control, which should have been a touchdown.
Billy Cundiff should have never been sent out and in position to miss a Kick, the game should have been won. The new rule for this season states all scoring plays are reviewed, but for something this close, something so close where you can easily miss things like Evans taking two steps. Why didn’t they review the play to get the call correct? Why didn’t they, they already determined that the Patriots were going to win the game regardless and the Ravens are going to be left wondering how things could have turned out if the officials just reviewed it and saw Evans with complete control and that he had took two steps.
This is Mike Presley's First Post for BCSOM: You can see Mike's work daily on The Penalty Flag.