Early this season, the NFL sent out a memo to its member clubs to not publicly complain about officiating.
The league might need to send another one, or make sure the Ravens got theirs.
After last night’s loss to the Cardinals, the Ravens put an entire story on their team website, complete with embedded video, complaining about calls they believe went against them last night.
“Everybody has that app Yelp, and you have reviews. Two stars,” wide receiver Steve Smith said.
With some of the calls, the Ravens have a legitimate beef, hence the story under the headline: “Ravens React to Questionable Referee Calls.”
The illegal formation penalty on reserve offensive lineman John Urschel was fairly egregious, as Urschel ran straight in the direction of referee Ron Torbert while motioning toward his jersey, a clear signal he was reporting as eligible. Quarterback Joe Flacco even pointed to Urschel to try to emphasize the point.
“I can’t hear what they’re saying out there, but it looked like he saw what we were saying and said something and then blew his whistle,” Flacco said. “So I just assumed it was all good.”
But the officials called an illegal formation anyway, negating a reception by Urshcel, and the Ravens ended up settling for a a field goal.
“John did everything he’s supposed to do in this situation, just as he’s coached,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Joe looked at it, he saw it, I saw it. Then there was an announcement; you couldn’t hear what the announcement was because you never can.”
Again, the officials on the field clearly screwed up. If Torbert didn’t see Urschel report, he should have. That should be addressed at a league level. But the Ravens should probably also expect a scolding for calling the league on its latest embarrassing officiating mistake in such a public forum.