Officials missed an illegal block on Sam Hubbard’s fumble return


The Bengals authored a 14-point swing by punching the ball away from Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley and returning it 98 yards for a touchdown.

Along the way, linebacker Markus Bailey got away with shoving Ravens tight end Mark Andrews in the back.

Andrews, trying his damnedest to duplicate the exploits of DK Metcalf chasing down Budda Baker, was closing on Sam Hubbard, who traveled 123.6 yards on the play. Regardless of whether Andrews would have taken Hubbard down, Bailey pushed him from behind.

It looked a lot like the decisive punt return in Jets-Patriots, when Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson Jr. sent Jets special-teamer Justin Hardee sprawling as he tried to catch Marcus Jones. Although the NFL circled the wagons and claimed that the block was legal, the rulebook says that an illegal block occurs when a player “blocks an opponent (from behind) in the back above the opponent’s waist, or uses his hands or arms to push an opponent from behind in a manner that affects his movement, except in close-line play.”

Watch the play. Watch the officials trying (and failing) to keep up with the fact. Bailey puts his hand in the middle of Andrews’ back and shoves. It should have been a foul. Which would have given the Bengals the ball, 10 yards behind the spot of the foul — roughly, the Baltimore 30.

If the flag had been thrown, the Bengals would have had a first and 10, at approximately the Baltimore 40. In a 17-17 game. Regardless of what would have happened next, it would have been a lot different than a 14-point lightning strike that ultimately provided the final points in the game.

38 responses to “Officials missed an illegal block on Sam Hubbard’s fumble return

  1. Refs missed a ton of calls. Look at the obvious holding on Trey Hendrickson on the last play of the game. In all the games they let them play much more than normal.

  2. Cincinnati needed a miracle to beat Tyler Huntley
    Gonna be a short postseason for the Bengals

  3. That would`ve been a terrible call. His right hand was on the front of the shoulder and his left got on the back but even Andrews didn`t whine for that call. Only fans would.

  4. Fix was in would they rather have burrow or huntley next week to generate ratings… the NFL is in the entertainment industry not the sports industry

  5. No, they didn’t. Bailey initiates contact in front, Andrew’s disengages, then stumbles forward and falls as Bailey’s hand nears jis back. Bailey didn’t affect his movement, Andrew’s was already falling down.

  6. This is not the only call the Zebras missed. There were calls in all the games that I watched.

  7. Refs missed a ton of calls. Look at the obvious holding on Trey Hendrickson on the last play of the game. In all the games they let them play much more than


    Oh, yeah, was that the play where he
    cussed out the ref and then took his helmet off and threw it on the ground? Oh wait that was Bosa. Trey just kept balling.

  8. And I guess all the people whining about the “missed call” will conveniently not mention Marcus Peters punching Joe Mixon after the play. He should have been ejected. It should have been a 15 yard personal foul. But sure…let’s whine about a hand on Mark Andrews. Boo. Hoo.

  9. The refs have trouble seeing fouls in plain sight, Andrew’s def would of tackled him and possibly knocked the ball out.

  10. If “if’s” and “but’s” were candy and nuts, it’d be Christmas every day. Grow up.

  11. To call that a penalty would have been an affront to all who play the game and would essentially mean having to call a penalty on every play of every game.

  12. Remember, these are the refs who grade the highest during the regular season. So these are supposed to be one of the better crews.
    So far every playoff game has had some questionable or egregious calls. It can’t all be due to being “fixed “.

  13. If the fix was in wouldn’t they have ejected Marcus Peters? Seemed like an obvious call, and would have made it much easier for the Bengals.

  14. Watched the replay as you requested, Mike. Contact was clearly from the side, not the back. Aside from that fact, anybody who’s complaining that the Bengals finally got the benefit of something against one of the perennial darlings of the NFL needs to quit whining.

  15. Bailey blocked him on his shoulder, not his back. Please stop making up stuff to discredit the Bengals and their win. Hudley shouldn’t put the ball out like that, Harbough should have called a run to Dobbins, Lamar should have played, Biscotti should have paid Lamar by now…so many things the Ravens could have done differently to win this game…but they didn’t.

    Florio is just mad because the Bengals are moving on to the playoffs while his Steelers are sitting at home..again. He knows the Bengals will be the best team in the division for the next 5 years at least, especially when Lamar leaves Baltimore.

  16. I hate both of these teams pretty equally. But Cincy clearly blocked in the back. Baltimore got screwed on that one. Cost them the game.

  17. It all started the last week of the regular season. A lot of no calls, this call was barley a illeagal block in the back.

  18. Dear Ravens, We’re not worried about your feelings, we’re on to Buffalo…..keep spending on that defense. Who-Dey!

  19. This is absolute BS. The contact was initiated from the side. Absolutely not a penalty. There are many calls or non-calls that can be complained about every game. This was not one.

  20. Did you see the Dean Blandino explanation? Guessing he has more expertise in officiating than anyone here. He said it was questionable, and in those cases, you don’t call it. So they didn’t miss it, they made a judgement call not to call it.

  21. The block was clearly initiated from the side and Andrew’s momentum caused the 2nd hand to be placed on the back. It was the appropriate no-call since a foul did not occur. And, I couldn’t care less who won that game.

  22. Only Bengals fans will say it was a legal block. But is was not. Nobody who is not a fan of either team can honestly say it was legal. Which it was not.

  23. Bengals are not very good. Got lucky and refs help just to beat Baltimore (who sucks anyway) with Huntly. One of the most overrated teams in the playoffs on either side. Isn’t a burrow and Burro the same thing?

  24. My favorite was when Jamar Chase flexed in Peters face with no call, then Peters gets a taunting call on literally the next play.

  25. You can’t turn around a block an opponent facing your own end zone, you can’t block from behind in the back, Marcus Bailey did the only thing he could do, push from the side. It was the best non-call I’ve ever seen. WhoDey!

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