Marvin Lewis won’t complain about Whitworth’s costly penalty


Midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh, the Bengals converted a third-and-4 and got into Steelers territory. Until a flag came down.

The referee flagged Bengals offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth for illegal hands to the face, bringing the play back. The Bengals, who trailed 24-17 at the time, failed to convert on third-and-14 and had to punt, and a great chance to tie the game disappeared.

The frustrating thing for the Bengals is that Whitworth’s hand slipping up into the face of Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons didn’t really seem to have any impact on the play, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he understands that the penalty has to be called.

With the hands to the face, it’s a foul,” Lewis said. “It’s not needed. You can’t just leave your hand there. He’s got to just drop his hand. By our NFL rules, it’s not anything that affected the play whatsoever. But it is a foul by our rules.”

Lewis seemed more upset by a holding call on Whitworth earlier in the game, noting that “We’ve had that holding before and it’s not holding and it won’t be holding when you get it back [on review from the league office] Tuesday.”

But ultimately, Lewis knows this loss was on his players, not on the officials.

24 responses to “Marvin Lewis won’t complain about Whitworth’s costly penalty

  1. Happens all the time. In that same game, Heath Miller was called for a penalty that nullified a TD pass by Ben, and he had nothing to do with anyone involved in that pass play. It’s football.

  2. Bengals played the Steelers tough. Great game to watch and will be a great rivalry in the division for the next decade.

    Bengals fans did not blame the refs for their loss on Sunday but this article makes it look like they were complaining about the calls. The calls went both ways.

    As a Bengal fan, I could not have been more proud of my team for the season so far and going forward.

    tldr: Bengals didn’t blame refs and I’m still proud of them.

  3. NO WAY! A Bill Leavy-led officiating crew made a controversial holding call against a Steelers opponent in the fourth quarter of a critical game? I don’t believe it. Bill Leavy would never, ever, ever allow his officiating to impact the outcome of a game. Ask Matt Hasselbeck, he’ll tell you.

  4. It was a tightly played and exciting game to the end, we all got our money’s worth. Good to see our old rivalry with the Bengals heating back up again. Bengals have a nice young QB and some talented WRs, and the team looks to be on the rise. Looking forward to the next game. And good luck beating the Ravens this weekend!


  5. Same as the personal foul penalty on Timmons. On replay it looked like he was already committed to the hit, realized it would be late and tried to pull up. He ended up sliding into the Bengals player sideways and with very little force yet they still called a personal foul. A little discretion could have been used by the officials and in both cases I would have been fine with no-calls. But, if they call the entire game by the letter of the law both ways, I really don’t have a problem with that other than it can slow the game down.

  6. By our NFL rules, it’s not anything that affected the play whatsoever.

    So the coach of the Bengals is advocating cheap-shots to opposing players on the backside of plays…

  7. Everybody shut up. Its a penalty, it needs t be called. Just because it didnt affect the play doesent meannits illegal. You could poke his eye out. A horsecollar tackle out of bounds doesent affect the play, but its a penalty.

  8. Bengals are still just a small step away from the Steelers and Ravens I think…. but close

    That would have been a different outcome if AJ Green stayed in the game too. Great game and excited to see the AFC North get after each other down the stretch……

    PS: Good thing the Browns are relevant #BrownsSuck

  9. That Steelers, is how you handle being penalized. Classy Marvin. Good to see you didn’t take a page from the Steelers and claim the league is out to get you, boo hoo for us, it’s unfair, they pick on us, are coach told us to lead with our helmets etc….

  10. In general the refs have been sht this year.

    By the way…when is the NFL going to get a clue and change the pass interference from being a spot foul to instead a 15 – 20 yd penalty. The refs get so many of these calls wrong and this call changes has such a big impact it needs changed. college has it right.

  11. Marvin won’t complain – he’s a class guy.

    Hey, you play the Stealers and you play the refs and media too – that’s the way it is. How many articles have you seen about Roethlisburger being half a yard past the the line of scrimmage on his touchdown pass, or the phantom first down when the chain measurement clearly showed them 3 inches short?

    the answer is none.

  12. Marvin doesn’t have much to complain about in general. 6-3 and Whit and Co. are keeping the Ginger Kid upright most of the time. Bigger fish to fry anyway, like who’s going to fill Leon Hall’s spot for the rest of the year.

  13. Bad calls happen both ways in any given game (I know Steelers haters won’t admit it…but an intelligent observer will realize this)

    You just have to play well enough that the refs can’t “take the game away” with one or two plays.

    Or, I guess you can keep crying about what somebody else did, but there’s a reason whiners who always blame someone else don’t excel in life

  14. The loss was on the officials not the players. The officials did the same thing to the Bengals the last time they played the Stealers in Cincinnati. Certain franchises get special treatment from the refs and the Stealers are definitely one of them. So are the Patsies.

  15. Hell- we’re beyond complaining its a given that our QB(steelers) will be hit late repeatedly without penalties being called-so much so that if i was an opposing coach i would order my players to hit him late. Is it a conspiracy-hell no, the league is way too stupid to plan for that. The fact is that the league has horrible officiating and you have to be ready to account for that

  16. I love how people think steelers get every call…haha ya right. Funny how when your team gets flagged its unjustified but when the other team does its justice! I love it when people hate on the steelers. If they didnt i’d be worried. Cause that means were a top organization! And we all know the STEELERS ARE!

  17. steveyurks38
    How about talking intelligent football instead of being classless? That’s like saying everyone in Penn. is like Sandusky. You must live in Ohio but love the Steelers.

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