Both Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis were both heard giving the ref’s a piece of their mind this week and for good reason. In particular, I felt the Ravens got robbed in the end zone when the referee called “offensive pass interference” on Jacoby Jones, when in fact it should have been defensive pass interference on Eagles Nnamdi Asomugha. Now I concede, there were bad calls on both sides, but what burns the most, is that call cost us the game. That touch down would have put Baltimore in the lead, and more than likely the win.
From the NFL’s official rule book, “actions that constitute offensive pass interference include but are not limited to: (a) Blocking downfield by an offensive player prior to the ball being touched. [I’ve watched this over and over, and certainly didn’t see Jacoby blocking Asomugha, “what you talking about Willis”?] (b) Initiating contact with a defender by shoving or pushing off thus creating a separation in an attempt to catch a pass. [Did anyone see any shoving or pushing other than when they were taking swings at one another on the field? I certainly didn’t see Jacoby Jones getting frisky. Perhaps I missed it; please show me the video of that one.] (c) Driving through a defender who has established a position on the field. [Sigh, I’m fairly certain this isn’t remotely a possibility.]
Most friends and colleagues I have spoken with over the last few days agree that this was a horrible call, but I digress, there were horrible calls dished out on both sides of the game. This was worst officiated game I have ever seen; however, I have read that there were teams upset all over the NFL. Perhaps the problem is that the NFL Rulebook reads like the Uniform Commercial Code and takes years of experience with the game, and years to disseminate and truly understand the rulebook. I’m still learning, and I don’t claim to be an expert, but that one was pretty obvious in my book. NFL, please bring back the “real Ref’s”, see, I like them so much better!