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League defends decision not to review Evans non-catch

Baltimore Ravens' Evans has the ball stripped from him by New England Patriots' Moore in the end zone during the fourth quarter of the NFL's AFC Championship football game in Foxborough Reuters

Shortly before Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff did his best Gary Anderson impersonation (to the chagrin of Matt Birk), Ravens receiver Lee Evans had the ball in his hands, in the end zone.  But Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore knocked the ball out of Evans’ hands, and the ruling on the field was that the would-be touchdown pass was incomplete.

Though it wasn’t a scoring play, fewer than two minutes remained in the game.  Thus, the decision (or not) to review the play was to be initiated by the replay assistant in the booth.  Even though the slow-motion angle shown by CBS seemed to suggest that it may have been a catch, the replay assistant didn’t instruct referee Alberto Riveron to take a look via the on-field portable TV on wheels.

As to whether a catch was made, the standard is simple.  From Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 3:  “If a player controls the ball while in the end zone, both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, must be completely on the ground before losing control, or the pass is incomplete.”

There’s no Calvin Johnson component.  No requirement of a football move.  Possession plus two feet down equals a catch, and a touchdown.

So why didn’t the replay assistant direct Riveron to take another look?  Absent indisputable visual evidence that the call on the field was correct, the replay assistant must tell the referee to look for indisputable visual evidence to overturn it.

The league disagrees.  “The ruling on the field of an incomplete pass was confirmed by the Instant Replay assistant, correctly, and as a result, there was no need to stop the game,” the league said in a statement forwarded to PFT by spokesman Michael Signora.  “The receiver did not get his second foot down in the end zone with possession, and as a result, it was an incomplete pass.”

Former V.P. of officiating and current FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira expressed a similar sentiment via text message to PFT.  “Clearly not a catch,” Pereira said.  “Ball coming out before second foot clearly down. . . .  No need to review it because it was clearly incomplete.”

But where’s the harm in taking a look at the play?  The left foot may have been down a nanosecond before the ball was dislodged.  Why not have Riveron decide whether or not that was the case?  Moreover, a different camera angle may have shown that Evans had the ball before his left foot previously left the ground.  (There’s no doubt that the right foot was down while Evans had the ball.)

It could be that the replay assistant erred on the side of not giving Riveron a chance to make what could have been another Bill Leavy-style error.  Either way, under the league’s standard for initiating a booth review, we think a booth review should have been initiated.  And if it had been initiated, Riveron would have been faced with a decision that wouldn’t have been quite as easy as the league seems to think it would have been.

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85 Responses to “League defends decision not to review Evans non-catch”
  1. trbowman says: Jan 22, 2012 7:50 PM

    There was no question about that play. League is right

  2. ralphtherealravenfan says: Jan 22, 2012 7:50 PM

    It doesn’t matter. He should have held on to the ball period. It was a perfect pass.

  3. jimbobobjr says: Jan 22, 2012 7:53 PM

    The league is right. The replays on TV clearly showed that the ball got knocked out a split second before his second foot came down. Everyone except the people wearing Raven-colored glasses could see it.

  4. dawhorsefeathers says: Jan 22, 2012 7:54 PM

    Let’s stop letting Lee Evans off the hook.

  5. skinsdan says: Jan 22, 2012 7:54 PM

    Great, add more fuel to the Baltimoron fans conspiracy theory that the league hates them.

  6. nickster31 says: Jan 22, 2012 7:55 PM

    “As to whether a catch was made, the standard is simple. From Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 3: “If a player controls the ball while in the end zone, both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, must be completely on the ground before losing control, or the pass is incomplete.””

    He DID lose the ball before, or as his second foot was touching the ground. Translation, he didn’t have control. Why is that so difficult for you to see?

    “There’s no Calvin Johnson component. No requirement of a football move. Possession plus two feet down equals a catch, and a touchdown.”

    No requirement of a football move? Why not? If the TD that Megatron didn’t get because he didn’t make a football move, and the rule was not changed, which it wasn’t, why would that rule not apply here as well?

    Not sure why I even wasted the time writing this comment, as I am pretty sure that PFT is going to delete it.

  7. seanmmartin says: Jan 22, 2012 7:55 PM

    No “harm,” but you STOP the game formo reason. The assistant in the booth declared it incomplete. Why don’t you get it, Mike?

  8. lolb23 says: Jan 22, 2012 7:55 PM

    Calvin Johnson says deal with it Ravens

  9. wegonnadoitbaby says: Jan 22, 2012 7:57 PM

    There were a few seconds left in the AFC Championship Game. If it was a catch the Ravens head to Indy. I think everyone would have been Ok with delaying the game a couple of minutes to be 100% positive.

  10. jmsincla says: Jan 22, 2012 7:57 PM

    I was 99% sure that 2 feet touched down w/ possession..glad I was rooting for NE.

  11. cubsisles72 says: Jan 22, 2012 7:59 PM

    I’m a pats fan and I thought that was a Td for sure. Catch step and knocked out as he was taking second step. Wow. Bring on Giants – no Tyree this time.

  12. mikeyhigs says: Jan 22, 2012 8:00 PM

    No need to review because it passed the eye test as clearly incomplete. I thought so, the ref thought so, and the league thought so. The only ones who would disagree will be delusional ravens fans or pats haters

  13. Paul Stagg says: Jan 22, 2012 8:00 PM

    I’m a Ravens fan wearing Ravens colored glasses. That was an incomplete pass.

    And I’m sick over it.

  14. wideright91 says: Jan 22, 2012 8:00 PM

    Bills fan say thanks for the fourth round pick for Evans, Baltimore. If you gave us a third, he would have caught it. You get what you pay for.

  15. godzilla111111 says: Jan 22, 2012 8:02 PM

    Pats always get the calls.
    2 int’s negated by penalties.
    It’s always something isn’t it?

  16. scamnewton says: Jan 22, 2012 8:03 PM

    “But where’s the harm in taking a look at the play?”

    The harm is in that if he caught it, which he probably did, Goodell’s buddy Kraft misses the SB yet again and as we’ve seen time and time again it’s all about who your friends are when it comes to stuff like this.

  17. kelvinmchale says: Jan 22, 2012 8:03 PM

    Clearly wasn’t a catch. If you stop the game, you potentially ruin the momentum of the drive unnecessarily. This play was officiated perfectly.

  18. skoobyfl says: Jan 22, 2012 8:07 PM

    As a Bills fan, Lee Evans is incapable of a big catch.

  19. donny1rodriguez says: Jan 22, 2012 8:08 PM

    Ravens fan know it wasn’t a catch. It wasn’t even close. No issue with the call. Refs called a good game actually. The should ref the big game.

  20. deepbacksidedig says: Jan 22, 2012 8:08 PM

    Incomplete pass is not review-able. That is it, right?
    No score, no review.

  21. macker1283 says: Jan 22, 2012 8:40 PM

    I kind of confused about the two foot rule. Earlier in the game there was a play with Gronk going out of bounds. One of his feet didnt leave the ground till he caught the ball, and he got one more foot dowm before going out of bounds. But it was ruled incomplete. I think the issue is possession. Evan couldnt have had complete possession if it was knocked out so easily and quickly.

  22. jeffperk says: Jan 22, 2012 8:40 PM

    Did you ask Pereira about the play after that, where Moore mugged Pitta on 3rd down @ the 3 or 4? Could have been holding, illegal contact, PI & Ravens are 1st & goal W/ 15 seconds left. Take 2 shots @ end zone & if doesn’t work, than kick the FG & go to OT. interesting how no one has brought that up. No penalties on NE, Riveron & his crew are terrible, why are they officiating a championship game?!

  23. yatista says: Jan 22, 2012 8:45 PM

    Hate to bring it up again, but I will.

    “If a player controls the ball while in the end zone, both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, must be completely on the ground before losing control, or the pass is incomplete.”

    Then why wasn’t it a TD for Johnson? I just watched it – the replay – again, three times. His feet were down, both of them, then he landed on his ass and THEN he put the ball down. Total possession all the way through. Still pissed.

  24. yatista says: Jan 22, 2012 8:46 PM

    And another thing: Is it not a football move being knocked to the ground????

  25. atlien698 says: Jan 22, 2012 8:47 PM

    Just what Ravens fans need–an excuse. They swear the league is out to get them. They are some sad souls.

  26. americanbadass607 says: Jan 22, 2012 9:18 PM

    The thing is, if I cant throw my flag inside 2 minutes as a coach, you better look at it.

  27. bleedgreen says: Jan 22, 2012 9:35 PM

    This is what I’ve been saying all year. If you’re going to review ALL scoring plays, you have to call ANYTHING close a TD and then look at it. Don’t NOT call it and force a coach to challenge, as that defeats the purpose of reviewing all plays. Now, I don’t believe this catch was a catch at all, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be reviewed.

  28. godzilla111111 says: Jan 22, 2012 10:23 PM

    Lee Evans had both feet down with possession-that’s a TD. Game over Ravens win!

    Oh wait-its the Pats! Hmm the refs want to keep their cushy jobs don’t they? Incomplete!

    Harbs can’t throw the red flag inside of two minutes but the booth will review given the importance.

    Wait there is no review! Pats Win!

    2007 Perfect Pats beaten by Kyle Boller! Ravens stuff Brady on 4th down! Under two minutes-Ravens win!

    Wait! Refs break the rules and allow Rex Ryan to call a timeout! Pats get a 5th down. Pats Win?

    Harbs will say nothing or get hosed by the League office.

    Watch the replay. Evans caught it. Game over.

  29. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 22, 2012 10:43 PM

    My favorite was seeing Harbaugh make that baby face at the ref every time he thought he deserved to get the call. I lost count at 17, though.

    And in other news: the Baltimore Ravens will still never go to the Super Bowl with Joe Flacco as their QB.

  30. snnyjcbs says: Jan 22, 2012 10:46 PM

    As I have been saying for a long time, the NFL likes to be able to call the same play which ever way they like, when ever they like. The NFL has filled the game full of gray area for that exact purpose.

    They like to be able to nudge a game here or there when they like in the direction they would like to see it go. They did not review it because if changed would have went against the New England Team. The same New England Team the NFL likes to let play a Last Place Schedule each and every year.

    Given a choice, the NFL would much rather see New England in the Super Bowl than the Ravens and that is the reason the play was not looked at, Tuck Rule anyone? LOL

  31. skleech22 says: Jan 22, 2012 10:47 PM

    Plain and Simple!! It was a catch but let’s feel sorry for Robert Kraft and the passing of his wife!! How much did Ol’ drunk Bobby pay to put his Patsies in the show? I’m sick of it!! C’mon Man!!!!

  32. musicman495 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:02 PM

    Not a fan of either team, but just watched the replay again – did not have second foot down. But when I saw it live I thought it was close enough to be worthy of a replay.

    Also, why are people trashing Evans? He did not drop the ball a la Jackie Smith – it was knocked out by the defender.

  33. stakex says: Jan 22, 2012 11:03 PM

    Thing is, the booth DID look at it and confirmed the play. Since thats the case, why would there be an on-field replay when it has already been confirmed by the booth? It would have been a waste of time.

  34. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 22, 2012 11:05 PM

    godzilla111111 says:
    Jan 22, 2012 10:23 PM
    Lee Evans had both feet down with possession-that’s a TD. Game over Ravens win!
    ——————————————-

    No, he didn’t have possession, and game still on — Ravens go on to lose!

    Speaking of “decisions” though — wonder if Suggs will decide to hide from ESPN now — ‘cuz you know how he only goes on and talks smack when the Ravens win.

    Choke so hard, baby!

  35. afc22 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:05 PM

    should have been reviewed but not sure it should have been overturned.

    such a vague rule, the league has made a mockery of what constitutes a TD.

    In the tuck rule days that’s definitely a TD but now, who knows

  36. gcsuk says: Jan 22, 2012 11:21 PM

    cubsisles72 says:
    Jan 22, 2012 7:59 PM
    I’m a pats fan and I thought that was a Td for sure. Catch step and knocked out as he was taking second step. Wow. Bring on Giants – no Tyree this time.
    ——————————————————
    Yep, no Tyree. Giants fans will just have to settle for Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

  37. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 22, 2012 11:30 PM

    The Patriots did their jobs, ensuring a Flacco-free Super Bowl. Now they can go on to lose again to the Giants.

  38. tsuscrumhalf says: Jan 22, 2012 11:35 PM

    I’m a Ravens season ticket holder and I thought it was an incomplete pass.

    I also think Lee Evans should have held on to the ball like a fat kid holds onto a bag of Doritos. He eased up and in that moment, you can’t do that.

    But, for everyone who says Ravens fans beyotch about refs all the time, I disagree w/you. Every team’s fans do it.

    Flacco had a great game after the 1st few drives. He outplayed Brady & if Evans secures that catch, Flacco has wins in the last seconds vs. Pgh in their house and N.E. in theirs and a start in the Super Bowl.

    Joe, I’m proud of you. Now go get your eyebrows waxed, you look like Bert. Or Ernie. And shave your Fu Manchu.

    Pats kicker 3-3. Cundiff 2-3. Game Over.

    2 great games today. This is why the NFL is the best sport (along w/MMA) for fat guys like me on their sofas…….

  39. halftermguv says: Jan 22, 2012 11:35 PM

    Can’t stand the Ravens, but even this Steelers fan calls that a catch.

    A receiver who catches the ball in the endzone and gets both feet down is a TD. After the fact slapping the ball out by a DB who was beaten on the play doesn’t cut it.

  40. donkeykong2011 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:36 PM

    I have it from a good source that Bob Kraft paid each of the refs a playoff bonus of $100k each. You are not imagining things. The Patriots get all the calls because they pay off the right people. Its really a leaguewide conspiracy to keep down (your favorite team).

    Your comments are valid. not at all ridiculous. Andyou definitely do not sound like a jackass.

  41. bleed4philly says: Jan 22, 2012 11:42 PM

    The Ravens could’ve used God on their sideline today.

  42. thinwhiteduke76 says: Jan 23, 2012 12:03 AM

    Had Brady thrown that pass, it would have been reviewed.

    Refs made sure they did something right so the NFL could have their Patriots/Giants rematch they’ve been drooling over since last week.

  43. 06jonjon says: Jan 23, 2012 12:03 AM

    For all you people that keep saying the games are fixed and refs are payed off, why do you keep watching football??? Maybe you should stop watching if you know whos going to win every game.

  44. steveyurk36 says: Jan 23, 2012 12:19 AM

    lamarr woodley is right the ravens will never win a superbowl with joe (ben stiller)flacco at qb. the steelers show how you make plays in the big games thats why they have 6 lombardi trophys. nobody else in the league has as many. great to see both harbaughs choke in the big games. bwaahahhahahaha

  45. abbazabba420b says: Jan 23, 2012 12:21 AM

    Who needs Tyree when you’ve got Victor Cruz….

  46. jgrange08 says: Jan 23, 2012 12:22 AM

    Quit blaming the refs, this was on 2nd and 1, you had another opportunity with a timeout to get a single yard and failed! Also the 3rd down play had pushing and grabbing going on both ways so a no call was right there.

  47. cmack15 says: Jan 23, 2012 12:41 AM

    scamnewton says: Jan 22, 2012 8:03 PM

    “But where’s the harm in taking a look at the play?”

    The harm is in that if he caught it, which he probably did, Goodell’s buddy Kraft misses the SB yet again and as we’ve seen time and time again it’s all about who your friends are when it comes to stuff like this.

    ^^^^
    This is all that needs to be said.

  48. cowhawkfan says: Jan 23, 2012 12:50 AM

    No catch, but Shoulda been Defensive pass interference on the next play.

  49. jasons81 says: Jan 23, 2012 1:10 AM

    @snnyjcbs

    You are retarded! Do you know nothing about how NFL scheduling works? Seriously? You said this same crap last week and I, as well as probably a dozen others, explained how NFL scheduling works. Before you spend all your time on a football site you might want to look into the basic stuff… like, say, how the schedule is determined. Idiot!

  50. truthserum4u says: Jan 23, 2012 1:13 AM

    I have no horse in this race and saw all of the replays that were shown, and have yet to see one that “seemed to suggest that it may have been a catch”. The ball surely appears to be moving out of Evans’ hands before the second foot comes down.

    The type of contact that occured on the pass to the TE at the end happens throughout the game (yes, even by the Ravens). It didn’t seem to affect the receiver’s ability to try and catch the pass, so a good no-call.

    Could just imagine if it had been reviewed people would be complaining that the delay broke the Ravens’ momentum.

  51. CKL says: Jan 23, 2012 1:44 AM

    snnyjcbs says:
    Jan 22, 2012 10:46 PM

    I don’t know how schedules are made, hate the Pats irrationally enough that I wear tinfoil hats over them and I also don’t know some of the basic rules of the sport.
    ______________________________
    FIFY-There’s the cliff notes, everyone.

  52. sbaltimore says: Jan 23, 2012 2:23 AM

    Ravens fan here. It was not a catch. It could have been reviewed in the normal “under 2 minutes” protocol, because it was close. But if it had already been reviewed by the replay official, that’s good enough for me. It would not have been over turned because it was not a catch, by definition.

    As far as Evans goes…he should have secured the ball. He’s a vet, and it’s expected.

    Not sure where all the Flacco hate is coming from with that “ampatsisahypocrite” poster, but whatever. Joe has broken or tied more records than just about any other QB in the history of the NFL in his first 4 years. So knock yourself out.

  53. bearsstillsuck says: Jan 23, 2012 2:26 AM

    The harm in taking a look at the play? How about interrupting the games pace and boring the fans to death. Should they review every play that was ruled right the first time?

  54. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 23, 2012 2:43 AM

    Cheating.

  55. kacapaco says: Jan 23, 2012 3:23 AM

    Stop silly conspiracies. Ravens r not cry babies. They know they lost a game. The guy failed to make the catch + kicker missed simple field goal + NE scored 3 more points and will go to Indy. End of story.

  56. smokeya says: Jan 23, 2012 4:45 AM

    Best thing is that NOONE can say flacco can’t carry a team to the SB now. Dropped pass and missed FG is, and can never be, his fault

  57. monropoobah says: Jan 23, 2012 4:45 AM

    pats hater. evans clearly had posession and i couldn’t believe they weren’t calling that a touchdown. seemed like the same concept as ‘breaking the plane’ for a runner. wasn’t aware the two feet down thing applied. if that’s the rule then ‘it is what it is’ because he did not have two feet down before the ball came out.
    i guess the best i get to say is god bless the ravens for almost beating the pats.
    god bless the giants

  58. bullcharger says: Jan 23, 2012 5:22 AM

    What are you guys talking about? The league says it wasn’t a catch. Your own expert says it wasn’t a catch. Any on field review would have confirmed it. Any time they got the call right you can’t say they should have reviewed it on field.

  59. juststeel says: Jan 23, 2012 6:24 AM

    I thought the Ravens won the SB when they beat the Steelers.

  60. flakazoid says: Jan 23, 2012 6:43 AM

    THEY DID REVIEW IT!
    Up in the booth. It was just so obviously a non-catch that it didn’t take long enough to stop the game. SHEESH! Some of you are so THICK!

    But I guess it wouldn’t be a Ravens loss without a little whining from about the officials.

  61. GG Eden says: Jan 23, 2012 6:47 AM

    Laughable to say “clearly” out before second foot down. In reality, “clearly” second foot down before ball came out.

    If that had been Brady to Branch in the endzone, there would’ve been Gulf War-like mobilization of video reviews by the refs and the Pats awarded a TD. Just like that 2007 regular season game when Ben Watson bobbled the ball as he stepped out of bounds but was awarded a TD to give the Pats an undefeated regular season record.

  62. har21441 says: Jan 23, 2012 7:07 AM

    Doesn’t Evans reaction say everything? Not a single word of protest – just meekly running back to the huddle – like a guy that just dropped the game winning touchdown. Not piling on here, but you’d think he’d have a stronger reaction if he thought he made the catch.

  63. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Jan 23, 2012 8:29 AM

    Sorry Lee but you blew it and you blew it big time. With the exception of Pitta and Boldin, Flacco gets absolutely no help from his receivers, it’s sad. Flacco played a great game and the pass to Lee couldn’t have been any better. We were set up to win the game and it was nothing but pure and utter choking at its finest. Just stepped out to walk my dog, Bmore is ghost town right now.. this one will sting for a long time.

  64. contract says: Jan 23, 2012 8:46 AM

    That was a HUGE play with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. If you’re not going to use replay in that situation, then it should get scrapped altogether.

  65. sjhesketh says: Jan 23, 2012 9:17 AM

    How about giving Sterling Moore a whole bench of credit for knocking the ball free? Evans is taking a lot of heat here, but without Moore’s refusal to give up on the play Evans hangs onto the ball. Moore made two studly defensive plays at the very end of the game to force the Ravens to try the FG.

  66. freddieizzyb says: Jan 23, 2012 9:25 AM

    Funny, the steelers beat the ravens and all their fans say it was the refs who helped them win. Now, they lose a game and they want the refs help? What? They were lucky that they caught the Pats sleeping, or that game wouldnt have been close. Maybe if SLACCO had a qb arm, he would have hit that WIDE OPEN receiver on the bootleg in stride like Big BEN would have hit wallace. Instead, the receiver had to make a diving catch and they settled for 3. Stop acting like 1 play decided 60 minutes Now they are asking why a penalty was not called when players took their helmuts off to celebrate that choker kicker missing basacally an extra point? What< refs help again? hahahaha . I know, but flacco played a "GREAT" game? really? i guess his stats say he did. He had all 3 yd passes where the receiver than ran 20 plus yards. Yea great qb. Maybe a running a half yard to get the 1st down might have changewd things, maybe hitting the reciever on the bootleg would have. He threw that INT in the 4th, if the D didnt bail him out AGAIN, all of baltimore would be calling for his head. He is what he is, a 2nd level qb, a gane manager.

  67. kate773 says: Jan 23, 2012 9:35 AM

    GG Eden says:
    Jan 23, 2012 6:47 AM
    Laughable to say “clearly” out before second foot down. In reality, “clearly” second foot down before ball came out.

    If that had been Brady to Branch in the endzone, there would’ve been Gulf War-like mobilization of video reviews by the refs and the Pats awarded a TD. Just like that 2007 regular season game when Ben Watson bobbled the ball as he stepped out of bounds but was awarded a TD to give the Pats an undefeated regular season record.
    ___________________________

    Interesting that all you people crying about how if this were the Pats they would have been awarded a TD aren’t discussing the TD BY BRADY HIMSELF that was reversed upon review. However, that doesn’t suit your argument so its easier to just blow past it.

  68. apollofoucard says: Jan 23, 2012 11:07 AM

    @snnyjcbs

    You are retarded! Do you know nothing about how NFL scheduling works? Seriously? You said this same crap last week and I, as well as probably a dozen others, explained how NFL scheduling works. Before you spend all your time on a football site you might want to look into the basic stuff… like, say, how the schedule is determined. Idiot!

    _________________________________
    Amen! He obviously didn’t read the comments from his last dumbass post re. scheduling or maybe he wouldv’e learned something. He’s either some idot kid, a monogoloid or someone who lives in their own fantasy world believing that ignorance really is bliss.
    You trully know how to make an ass out of yourself snnyjcbs!!

  69. bbgustaf says: Jan 23, 2012 12:39 PM

    Okay, say they did botch the call (which I don’t think they did), the Ravens STILL had a chance to tie it and go to overtime did they not? And what was the result? A missed 32 yard field goal!

  70. bunkmcnulty says: Jan 23, 2012 12:53 PM

    @freddieizzyb

    why be so vile? so bitter?

    Ben is a great QB. And no, Flacco is not his equal. And Joe was far form perfect yesterday, but had a really good day? Why is it, many of you from Pittsburgh are incapable of being “good sports?” Do they not teach you all to respect other people, teams, players, etc.

    And really. No Steeler fans whine about calls? Really? Last year when we lost I came out in this forum and said we had the game an blew it. We had no one to blame but ourselves. As I have said before, bad calls are part of the game. You get some. You have some against you. Everyone does!!!!

    And every team has decent fans, who can respect the other teams and their fans, and then there are fans like you who nonsensically make statements about players and fans and have no real knowledge of the game. Sorry your life is so terrible you need to speak ill of others to make yourself feel better. I feel sorry for you. I do.

    And last, the “gane” manager beat you all twice this year. Sorry about that. Maybe you’ll do better next year.

  71. freddieizzyb says: Jan 23, 2012 1:33 PM

    @bunkmcnulty

    I am not speaking ill of others. I just think its funny that the ravens fans are whining about refs. Avtually, i was rooting for the ravens the last time they won the SB. But seems like they have changed and think the “deserve” more respect than they get. Yes, i will give it to you, they did beat us twice and Joe drove them right down the field in pittsburgh to beat us at the end. It was a great game for him and one of his best drives. Not really sure what beating pittsburgh twice this year was part of your response. Using your logic, Hey, the steelers beat new england this year. That win got us as much as the ravens beating us twice, no where. I actually respect the ravens and have no reason to speak bad about other fans because i realize its just a game. Again, its just irony that a team that can never just lose a game without 100 excuses, needs to make them when they dont get 1 call.

  72. horaceivory says: Jan 23, 2012 2:23 PM

    If that play happened in the field of play, would anyone think that Evans had caught the ball and been stripped resulting in a fumble? Or would that be incomplete? That’s incomplete in the field of play everytime, and was correctly ruled incomplete in the endzone.

  73. bunkmcnulty says: Jan 23, 2012 4:06 PM

    @freddieizzyb

    Thank you. That is a better tone.

    The reason for the Pittsburgh games mention was to defend Joe Flacco (or is that Slacco?). I thought you would have figured that out. I understand you don’t like the Ravens, but the guy is better than you give him credit for. You act like he is Joe(y) Harrington. Flacco is more than just a servable QB. And the guy throwing all the 3 yard passes yesterday was not wearing purple either. Joe did man up during the presser and say that he under threw Torrey. He was not perfect. I have seen Ben underthrow people occassionally also. And while Ben is a great QB, he is not perfect either.

    Man, I get that you hate of the Ravens. I feel the same about the Steelers. The difference is I have no issue admiring your players for what they do well. Even the hated Hines Ward. In your initial comments all you were doing was bad mouthing Joe and Ravens fans.

    I guess I don’t think someone is a fan of this game unless you can be objective and fair. Those that can’t be are just “homers.” As for “whiners” about calls. Yes, even the Ravens fan base has a few misdirected souls that are dumb enough to complain about a missed call as an excuse. But so does EVERY team on these blogs. And frankly, the majority of the complaints I see are about Evans and Cundiff, and I think Ravens fans have a right to be upset with them. Yes, there are some that think Evans possessed that ball long enough for a TD (which he did not, IMHO).

    Yes, it’s a game. But dude, think a little more fairly in your comments. Maybe taking off the black and yellow glasses once in a while will help.

  74. rarson says: Jan 23, 2012 4:21 PM

    It looks like Evans almost had three feet down. He very nearly caught the ball before his left foot came up, and he definitely had his left foot back on the ground before the ball came loose.

    However, it clearly wasn’t a catch since his left foot wasn’t “completely on the ground” at any point while he had control of the football. But that’s tough to see in real time, so there should have been a review.

    For those people who say “It WAS reviewed”, I thought the purpose of the review system was to give the referees a chance to verify or overturn a questionable call, not some guy sitting up in the booth. And doing reviews in this manner makes them completely transparent to the viewer, which also negates the point of having a review system at all.

    But obviously, the point is that the NFL just wants to cram as many commercials into as little football as possible, as evidenced by how the clock never stopped when Flacco ran out of bounds. The NFL wants to hurry up and go to commercial, so they have to cut out stupid, unnecessary things like reviews and clock management.

    Again, I’m not complaining about the actual outcome of the game. It was a great game played well by both teams, with errors made on both sides of the ball on both teams. But the lack of quality and consistency in NFL officiating is terrible, and the NFL would rather make excuses than change things or even just admit that “Yes, we should have had the guy on the field review it, just so that the viewers would actually know that it’s being reviewed.” Because if they had done that, then they wouldn’t have to defend anything today.

  75. maximus929 says: Jan 23, 2012 10:31 PM

    Yes. What would have been the harm of looking twice at a play that DETERMINED WHO’S GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL?

    Once again, the NFL gives the Patriots some help to get ahead.

    Official can arrogantly say “called incomplete, correctly, ” all they want. From the replays I saw, he had two feet down and possession. That’s a touchdown.

    So tell me why you couldn’t at least look at such an important play? Isn’t that the purpose of instant replay?

    Oh I get it. The purpose of instant replay is to assist the Patriots to win as many SB’s as we can give them. This is the second one they don’t belong in.

  76. me says: Jan 24, 2012 1:07 AM

    I wish I could attach the single frames I have of both angles showing the ball coming out of his hands before his left foot (he was spinning to the outside) hit the ground. I’m not sure where the controversy lies. If he had held it for another half-second, touchdown. He didn’t, incomplete pass.

  77. skittlesareyum says: Jan 25, 2012 12:49 PM

    yatista says: Jan 22, 2012 8:45 PM

    Hate to bring it up again, but I will.

    “If a player controls the ball while in the end zone, both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, must be completely on the ground before losing control, or the pass is incomplete.”

    Then why wasn’t it a TD for Johnson? I just watched it – the replay – again, three times. His feet were down, both of them, then he landed on his ass and THEN he put the ball down. Total possession all the way through. Still pissed.

    It’s because the definition of “controls the ball” requires a player going to the ground to maintain possession. The “Calvin Johnson Rule” is unrelated to the end zone because it applies anywhere. I think in the case of CJ’s infamous catch it was applied too strictly, but the CJ Rule is not incompatible with the rule in the OP.

  78. darthseverus says: Jan 25, 2012 6:04 PM

    First of all, I have seen many different replays of this, and I cannot say one way or the other if it was or was not a catch. Depending on the angle you see it from, you could rule either way. And on the field, it was incomplete.

    Second, to overturn a call, there has to be indisputable video evidence to overturn the call. Again, based on whichever angle you view, it can go either way. With no indisputable evidence, you can’t overturn the call. Still incomplete.

    Third, this wasn’t the only play in the game. What about the other 59 minutes and change where the Ravens offense and defense didn’t do their jobs by making sure the Pats didn’t score more points than them? I don’t hear anybody talking about that.

    And for Steelers fans talking about the Ravens needing help, I’ve got 3 items for you to think about:

    1. Watch the replay of the incomplete catch from the Super Bowl last year at the end of the game. You clearly see Ben telling the ref they should have thrown a flag. Looks like Ben needs the help here.

    2. In the Super Bowl vs. the Seahawks, Ben NEVER crossed the goal line and the ball never broke the plane. But the refs gave him the TD anyhow. Looks like Ben needed the help here.

    3. Same Super Bowl vs. the Seahawks, and Seattle is called for holding on a long completion. Watch the replay, and there was no holding there. Looks like the Steelers needed the help here.

    So Steeler fans shouldn’t talk about needing the help of the refs when the Steelers have clearly needed/wanted the help for every SB win they ever got (or didn’t get).

  79. klownboy says: Jan 26, 2012 9:09 AM

    The Ravens fans got robbed a bit against the pats – and this is coming from a Steelers fan.

  80. eyesoreproductions says: Jan 26, 2012 9:58 AM

    This is a prime example where the rules get in the way with common sense transforming Football into traffic court. Let’s look at the facts that is undisbutable. Joe Flacco threw a pass. Correct? We can agree on that. Lee Evans was in the endzone. Right. We all agree. Lee Evans was facing Joe Flacco. Lee Evans reaches up, his feet leaves the ground. So far so good right? Lee Evans catches the ball. That’s right. Lee Evans got both hands on the ball. The ball wasn’t bobbing in his hands. He caught the ball. The only alternative to that description would be is he didnt catch the ball. That is he bobbled it or it bounced off his fingers say what happened to Boldin last year in the playoffs. But that wouldn’t be describing w hat happened. So he caught the ball, that is if you were describing what happened to a blind person nano second per nanno second that’s how you would describe. But not in universe that is the NFL. Evans still didn’t catch the ball. Even though the ball is securly in his hands and he brings the ball into the craddle possition. Even though he starts to turn. He’s turning towards the official, His second leg is stretching towards the ground. The Defender is charging at him. The defender, actually is making a play in the endzone after the Ball is secured in his hands. His foot is stretched towards the ground and in the third replay played on TV you can see Evans looking into the eyes of the Official waiting for the iconic arms of the Zebra Stripes thrusting in the air that never comes. And then bam. A brilliant strike by the defender and the ball pops loose. The question, at least for the NFL, did Evans get his second foot down. This is impossible to determine from the TV mainly because it’s third generation video, but it’s disputable and crazy that it wasn’t reviewed. But I’m saying it was a touch down before that just out of common sense. I think the NFL needs to get away fromt the Calvin Johnson kind of games. I mean if your running and you leap in the air over the goal line then as soon as the ball crosses the plain of he goal line touchdown. No one can make a play on the ball in the endzone. But if you catch a ball the NFL sets themselves up for controversay allowing someone to make a play on the ball in the endzone.

  81. havok82 says: Jan 26, 2012 2:00 PM

    Talking about it won’t change anything, even if the NFL admitted it was wrong. The NFL sent a letter to the Patriots after they lost to the Colts in the AFC CG to say “Oops, faceguarding isn’t actually a penalty” so sorry we gave Indy a first and goal.

    It sucks, but it wasn’t a catch…now move on to the next year.

  82. pizzon says: Jan 26, 2012 5:59 PM

    funny how goodell and the rest of the dumbasses on park ave wanted a pats vs packers super bowl and well the giants took care of the packers and are now going to take care of the patriots.

  83. kyedh3 says: Jan 27, 2012 2:52 PM

    I’m not a fan of either team. But I think you err on the side of efficiency. The replay is inconclusive and the ruling on the field stands, so ultimately, it’s irrelevant, except … if I were a Ravens’ fan, I’d have been unhappy about it at the time because it is close enough to be called bang-bang either way. But, as has so eloquently been pointed out, if Evans hangs on, Pats go home. He did not, so the Ravens go home. Better luck next year guys.

  84. bnwpnw says: Jan 28, 2012 3:38 AM

    Like Hutchinson before him, Peyton knows to play it safe:

    If you’re going to screw your team, always wear a Condon.

  85. goforgin01 says: Feb 5, 2012 10:17 AM

    Funny reading all of this now.

    Calvin Johnson was a catch. Lee Evans was a drop.

    Still stings in Bmore today.

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