Questionable holding call helped Bengals nail down victory

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As the Ravens tried to mount an unlikely comeback against the Bengals on Thursday night after landing in a 21-point hole twice in the first half, the margin had reduced to five — and the momentum favored the Ravens.

And so the play of the game arrived with 8:08 to play, the home team leading 28-23, and the Bengals facing third and two on their on 33. Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd, lined up in the right slot, ran a short crossing route. Ravens defensive back Tavon Young broke up the pass, putting Baltimore in position to try to take the lead with plenty of time left.

But wait. A yellow flag landed on the field. The officials called Young for holding.

And while Young indeed had a right hand on Boyd’s waist, Young didn’t impede Boyd’s ability to run across the field. Instead, Young’s hand simply was placed in a spot that would have been conducive to holding, if Young had used his hand to slow down Boyd.

Making the call even more questionable was the circumstance. Sure, a foul is supposed to always be a foul no matter the margin or remaining time. But flags often get nudged a little deeper in key moments, and in this specific case it would have given extra reason to not call a penalty.

The first down kept Cincinnati’s drive alive, chewing up clock and leading to a field goal that pushed the margin back to eight points, and in turn setting the stage for a last-gasp effort from the Ravens to potentially force overtime. Bengals defensive back Shawn Williams got to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco before Flacco could uncork a throw that coach John Harbaugh said after the game could have resulted in a long touchdown, the Bengals recovered, and that was that.

34 responses to “Questionable holding call helped Bengals nail down victory

  1. The NFL has been guiding the outcome of games with questionable late game penalties for years. The league’s eventual partnership or sponsorship with gaming corporations will only ad more suspicion to the motives of the referees.

  2. One “questionable” call is what helped? Really? It wasn’t the fact that the Bengals stopped the Ravens run game, had 4 sacks, 2 interceptions recovered 2 fumbles and forced Flacco to throw it 55 times?

    There was a questionable call on the Bengals pass interference call that set up a Ravens TD as well. Even Mike Pereira thought it was a bad call. Let’s not overlook the fact that the Bengals were called for more penalties.

    I think what really helped the Bengals out was the fact that in the first half they came out and curb-stomped the overhyped Ravens.

    All I hear about today is how the Ravens didn’t do this or didn’t do that. Maybe these “experts” need to admit they were wrong and say what the Bengals did do; beat the Ravens. Again.

  3. It was ticky tack.

    Equally ticky tack was the pass interference on Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick in the end zone (gently tugging the back of John Brown’s jersey) for a 30-yard penalty to set up the Ravens second TD at the end of the first half.

    I’d say the ticky tack PI in the end zone impacted the outcome more than the ticky tack hold.

  4. gilmore was flagged on this to help houston get their td late in the game

    they are phantom calls or refs look for things that are not there

    goodell wants points for ratings

  5. Please act like the Bengals are gifted by the refs in these games. Does anyone really perceive the Cincinnati Bengals as a nationally liked team that gets the benefit of favorable refereeing? No – they don’t. How about last week when the refs practically handed the game to the colts on calls against roughing Luck? Did Dalton receive the same favors? The Bengals are the first to be whistled because of national perception and their doormat status in the NFL. Ravens got their calls too. Plenary if I recall, that had similar outcomes the other way.

  6. These penalties happen in every game every week in the NFL, so quit whining. You predicted “the Ravens will never look back” and now you make excuses.

  7. There was a questionable PI call to set up the Ravens first TD too.

    And a non call in the same drive when Brown was pushed in the back after he beat the CB on a go route that the safety dropped.

    So what’s your point? Both sides got questionable calls last night, the bengals just got them at better times, in fact all but three of their TDs and four of their six scoring drives were set up by penalties extending drives that were ticky tac.

  8. There were several ticky tack calls which I don’t like to see,BUT I also have no sympathy for the DB’s if they grab. If they have a hand on the WR and don’t impede the progress there shouldn’t be a PI called. If they close that hand with jersey in it, I have no sympathy for them and they have no business whining.

  9. Good grief. Questionable calls happen all the time in every game. Always have, always will. That’s the nature of the business when a call a ref has to make is a judgment call. Holding, pass interference, the new helmet rule – these are all judgment calls – and they are made in real time at full speed. Some are obvious, some aren’t. And sometimes even “the world’s best referee” (whoever that is) is going to be wrong.

    And it’s not some grand NFL conspiracy. That’s tin foil cap talk.

    If you can’t accept that, you might as well stop watching the game

  10. Waayyy too many flags these days. DPI being the worst as teams routinely get 20,30,40+ yards out of it on ticky tack calls. I love football & love the NFL. But lately I find my attention from games is easily diverted & sometimes I fall asleep. The game has become boring! I’ve been saying it for a few years now. The NHL has the best product going right now. Fast pace action with plenty of physical play. I welcome all NFL fans to check out hockey, it’s not just for Canadians anymore!

  11. theroc5156 says:
    September 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    One “questionable” call is what helped? Really? It wasn’t the fact that the Bengals stopped the Ravens run game, had 4 sacks, 2 interceptions recovered 2 fumbles and forced Flacco to throw it 55 times?

    ~~~~~

    Most of what you’re saying is hard to argue. I hate that games can be so heavily affected by penalties. The Bengals did not shut down the Ravens run game. They abandoned it when they got so far behind. They still got beat.

  12. Goodell is a cheater. Plain and simple.

    No other sports league tries to manipulate outcome for majority public desires or for the idea that closer, higher scoring games mean better rating$ and more revenue, but this is all tied to fantasy football and greed.

    Why the media protects Goodell and the cheating, is beyond me. I somewhat get it since it’s tied their own employment, where if these secrets were exposed, it would bring the whole down, since it would be considered consumer fraud. The customer thinks this is live, real competition, it’s not like wrestling customers knowing it’s staged.

    Even victimized teams in these situations have owners who don’t say anything because they value the NFL shared revenue more than whether or not their team benefitted or got screwed.

  13. Well, we know for a fact that the Ravens have a planned strategy for mass holding penalties and have employed such against the Bengals in the past, so maybe the refs just have several hundred holding penalties against them in the queue.

  14. tylawspick6 says:
    September 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm
    gilmore was flagged on this to help houston get their td late in the game

    they are phantom calls or refs look for things that are not there

    goodell wants points for ratings
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    You are referring to a totally different game but if you want to talk about Texans patriots don’t forget to mention Gronk’s non-catch which set up patriots score before the half.

  15. Good grief. Questionable calls happen all the time in every game. Always have, always will. That’s the nature of the business when a call a ref has to make is a judgment call. Holding, pass interference, the new helmet rule – these are all judgment calls – and they are made in real time at full speed. Some are obvious, some aren’t. And sometimes even “the world’s best referee” (whoever that is) is going to be wrong.

    And it’s not some grand NFL conspiracy. That’s tin foil cap talk.

    If you can’t accept that, you might as well stop watching the game

    0

    1
    ———————–

    Making more money is not a conspiracy. It’s called Capitalism and when greed goes off the rails, these patterns are easily seen. They’re not coincidences.

    It’s not the fact there are bad calls here or there, it’s the patterns of TIMING of the calls (many of these are on 3rd downs or when one team has a big lead).

    Please try to keep up. These patterns have been going on for years since Goodell took over.

    —————–

    False, his hand was clearly underneath the ball. The ball can touch the ground, as long as a hand is underneath the ball. If the underside of the ball is touching the ground, that is not a catch, like Jesse James for Pitt last year at the goal line. Gronk’s catch would not have been over-turned by rule.

    You don’t even know the rules. Not shocking. Arrogant know-it-all Millennials don’t know much about anything.

  16. Watch replay two players were held up by the Ravens on that play as well as early Bungals were called same type of hold. Refs were suspect on the late hits on QB’s as well as a Raven trip the Bungals running back no call. Nice try to point one play for win or lose.

  17. Both first half td for ravens was aided by questionable PI call the ref that now works for nfl network said both was not PI. But no mention of that wouldn’t have been close without them.

  18. There were 3 horrible calls that benefited the Bengals versus Colts last Sunday. All at critical points.

    Somebody high up must have a lot of money riding on the Bengals this season.

  19. Wierd story. Only makes sense if you only watched part of the game. If you saw the whole thing you would have noticed multiple ticky tack calls called at key moments against both teams. This was confirmed live by Aikman and the ex-ref in the broadcast booth.

    The refs have an impossible job.

  20. Instant replay showed defender had his arm wrapped around the receiver which did slow him up somewhat so not to catchup to the pass – may have not been called if wasn’t right in the middle of the field for all to see but the right call

  21. This was no “arrival game” or even a queation of if Bengals are for real. They are a really good football team w a very good roster of veterans ans young guys. The know it alls know the Bengals dont turn the dial so they are routinely ignored. Now if they win a playoff game or go deep in the playoffs remains to be seen but they are a solid team who was clearly better than the team they played lastnight.

  22. The refs in the NFL should be between the ages of 30-45. You should not be able to confuse a ref and Matt Patricia. How these AARP refs are allowed to call games with these superior athletes playing is criminal.

  23. That was a good call. He had both hands on his waist and it looked like he was trying to slow him down. That wasn’t the casual hand out to judge where the WR is while he’s looking up for the ball. It was to control the WR. C’mon.

  24. This story is worthless. It could just as easily been about the two TERRIBLE calls that aided the Ravens scores! One was a phantom PI in the endzone, and I forget the other. But, those that happened earlier in the game count just as much as those that happened late! WHO-DEY?!?!?!

  25. I’m sure most Ravens fans would agree with me. We don’t care about this play. We care about winning a game because our team dictated that. Not because the refs threw a flag or not. One play does not dictate a game. We got behind early and although we mounted a good comeback, it wasn’t enough. Give props to Cincy on the win. We’ll get ’em when we play in Baltimore.

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