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October 6, 2008

Ravens robbed (Part Deux)

The Ravens ended up on the victim of another costly penalty flag, but -- as many Ravens have pointed out here -- the Tennessee Titans were still deep in their own territory when that phantom head slap kept their final touchdown drive alive. There were plenty of other junctures in the game when they could have stored up some acorns on the scoreboard and made that call less important.

And for all you Titans fans who felt like your team got the wrong end of a personal foul call in the first half, spare me. The Titans secondary was cheap-shotting Derrick Mason all day long and the Ravens didn't get 15 yards when Joe Flacco got slammed to the ground after a play was whistled dead for encroachment. Hmmmm.

I'm not insinuating that the refs have it out for the Ravens, though I'm sure it must seem like that sometimes. The officials try hard to get every call right. They're human. It's just hard to look at it that way when you know that loss could be the difference between the Ravens being a playoff contender and an AFC North also-ran.

The way I've always looked at this year's schedule, the Ravens need to go at least 5-3 through the first half of the schedule to entertain any hope of making a playoff run. The loss yesterday leaves them needing to win three of their next four, which is a pretty tall order with three of their next four games on the road starting with Sunday's game at Indianapolis.

The second half is going to be a tall order no matter what, with those four games against the beasts of the NFC East.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:32 AM | | Comments (51)
Categories: Just football



How about that? A bad call against the Ravens defense and the sun still rose in the east this morning! Everyone needs to chill, and forget about the "conspiracy" the NFL has against the Ravens. There is no conspiracy!

These referees are human, after all. They are subject to make some bad calls. As for the Titans fans who cried about the "bad" calls on their players, maybe they ought to go call their mommies. It was pretty evident that Jeff Fisher still cannot get over the fact that the Ravens beat the Titans in TN on their way to the Super Bowl, and his MO is to take cheap shots any time he thinks his team can get away with it.

There was also the horse collar that wasn't called in the Ravens last drive, right before Flacco didn't see a wide open Heap to throw an interception.

So, why isn't replay used to get the call right?

Pete's reply: Because it was an unreviewable situation. Penalties aren't reviewable. Field goal calls aren't reviewable....oh, sorry.

The refs simply have too much discretion in their calls. The call on Suggs. The non call on Haynesworth (throwing Flacco to the turf). If you saw the Steelers game last night, they threw a flag after a 3rd down incomplete pass for taunting which game the Steelers a first down. Are you serious? Are we in pee wee league football that we have to flag the guys for this? Let the players decide the game, not the refs. If a guy clubs a QB in the head, flag him. If it is close, keep the flag where it belongs. It's BS. Same thing last week. Hines Ward is blowing up Ed Reed away from the play as the play ends and there is no flag (even after he is flexing after the play which in my book is taunting). Last night a Jags player lights Ward up away from the play and he gets a flag. I'm sick of it. Let the games be decided by the players on the field, not as a result of yellow flags.

How can you say the Ravens were robbed? Bad calls are a part of the game, and good teams deal with them and move on, and eventually overcome them. The Ravens are simply not at that point yet. The refs had zero to do with Flacco's 2 (should've been 3) really really bad interceptions, nor did they have anything to do (other than calling the penalty) with the Ravens players continuing to get dumb personal fouls. Real contenders don't keep making those mistakes. Excuses are like........

Pete's reply: I would agree with you if Suggs had committed a personal foul there. He didnt.

PLAY OFFS, PLAY OFFS!!!! Just kidding,But at the start of the season most people predicted a 2-14, 4-12 season, so let's sit back (and pray for some good refs) and support our team.

Say what you will about the officiating, you knew from the outset they were calling a close game. This game was lost on two things: 1. Not enough push by the O-line to spring McGahee (although he played very tough) and 2. The two Flacco picks. He admits it, Harbaugh admits it and it is going to happen with a rookie quarterback with count them 4 NFL starts.

We should organize a fan protest to express outrage over being robbed of a win. We should keep talking this up; sunlight is the best disinfectant for corruption and injustice. A protest would garner publicity and make the corrupt heads of the NFL squirm.

I am toying with the idea of demanding a refund from the league on the grounds that I was fraudulently induced to buy tickets to the game, believing it was to be a fair competition regulated under the published rules of the NFL. Clearly it was not a fair competition officiated under the published NFL rules. This violates Maryland's consumer protection statute. The terms and conditions on the back of the ticket are null and void, as a contract induced by fraud is never enforceable.

Anyone interested in joining such a lawsuit?

part Deux? Try part XXX or higher. Of course they were robbed. Where have you been for 13 years? Week in and week out, year after year, its the same thing - a "questionable" call at a critical point in the game that turns it against the Ravens. Whether its phantom chop blocks, uncalled horsecollar tackles, backtoback leveraging calls, false starts turned into encroachment at the insistence of the opposing player, not stopping play after a dead ball foul then throwing a late flag on a BS personal foul, unreviewable field goal calls reviewed, it goes on and on and on and on. The NFL is fixed. It favors certain teams over others (quick - find me a weather game on the Redskins schedule in the last 15 years). Hines Ward can pull a guy out of bounds by his chinstrap and the ref watching him do it waits for the reaction and flags that. And Ward does this in every game - cheap shots, blocks in the back, riding guys out of bounds, etc etc etc and he NEVER gets called for it. In 2000 we were good enough to beat the refs (though they tried - remember the no-touch roughing the QB on McNair in the playoffs that year? Same thing - 3rd down, critical call, almost turned the game). Until we are that good again, you're watching professional wrestling. They fixed Super Bowl 40 and got away with it and now they fix any game they want to. It's scripted and you're wasting your time.

The NFL is now akin to professional wrestling. These refs need to be held accountable to the fans after games. Each week you wait for the call that will put us in a hole and each week the NFL sits silent between games to leave us fans feeling like we are expected to just suck it up. I hope I see the commissioner on the street one day so I can show him what a true personal foul head slap looks like.

I now firmly believe the Ravens will rarely, if ever, be given the benefit on "close" calls -- that call against Suggs -- well -- it's like the crooked NBA ref did -- these people (officials) can make calls to win/loss games. The ref who made that call --- needs to be investigated -- it changed the game dramatically for the Titans -- I would have liked to see Harbaugh act at least a little upset -- just like last week I'd have liked to have seen him challenged a call on a pass caught IN the end zone ---he must know that a few thousand of us fans were upset amd most of his players-- it's nice he takes everything in stride -- but John, sometimes you have got to show the players you agree they were robbed --- a note on Ray Lewis: That man is a football player the likes of which we won't see maybe ever again -- two losses in the fourth quarter to teams with a combined 9-1 record by SIX points -- how the Ravens management has given that marvelous defense no help for 10 years in a mystery to me (oh, and we must find a field goal kicker, like soon). I just hope the Ravens can keep playing at this level, but I don't see how with losses like this.

Consider that payback for Kukar screwing up the MNF game a few years ago in Tennessee HANDING the game to the Raisens after McNair QB-sneaked to win the game only to have Kukar give the D another chance to win the game.

HA HA!!!!


After thinking about this I have to say the one thing that needs to go as far as I am concerned is the false stop stoppage of play. They should just allow the play to continue I feel and penalize the offense only if they make a play. I remember last year being at a game against the Patriots us stopping them and suddenly after the play had stopped the Ref's pretty much giving the Patriots a do over which lead to a winning TD.

Now this does not change the fact that we had a "Questionable" call made on Suggs (Can the league fine us also for stating the obvious ??)

We did not play defense at all after that call and I can say that "Perhaps" it shook up the team. Winning teams DO NOT falter in these moments (Read up on what the Patriots did above when faced with adversity)

We are just not championship caliber. I know we hope we make the playoffs with a 9-7 or 8-8 team. But I am not looking forward to that. I want a team that I know can play like a champiion. They can have a record of 7-9 and I would be happier than pulling for a team that falls down on a "Questionable Call"

Sorry about the ramble. Just had to get that out as a fan in the stands.

That 3rd down play was early in the drive. Did the ref's miscount the 12 men on the field penalty? Or did they not cover the open recievers? Or how about not putting pressure on the statue that is Kerry Collins?

the difference in making the playoffs and being an also ran is joe flacco. he can't win a game yet. he can only hope to manage one. good teams can overcome bad calls by refs.

the difference in making the playoffs and being an also ran is joe flacco. he can't win a game yet. he can only hope to manage one. good teams can overcome bad calls by refs.

Oh, please. Enough with the childish whining, already. "The ref did it, no fair!" Bad calls only beat you when you're already primed to lose. That call didn't cost them the game--the inability to score more than ten points in four quarters in the NFL cost them the game. Even with the best defense in the league, you ain't gonna win many like that. (The days of counting on Ed Reed and C-Mac to do the offense's job for them and put enough points up to win also appear to be over.) I'm afraid we wont be seeing wins against good teams, even if the D stays healthy, until Joe has matured some, the team gets a more balanced attack (see, "Giants," "Redskins") and we have better receivers out there.

Since 1995 the Ravens have been jobbed week after week, see WWF/WWE for "jobbed". Yes, it's a fact we booed Tagliaboooo in Tampa at the Super Bowl, not just for his slap on our helmet about getting an NFL team despite being a top TV market. It's also about more than a decade of these rip-offs to my ticket price purchase. It is a fraud, like the Browns game last year that started our spiral down. Come to this site and comment, did you leave then or get ripped off at a game.....the NFL is the NO Fair League. It's certainly not their definition of the Not Fixed League! oh wait, they say the NationalF-ed...oops, Fixedball league...darn, I'm not sure what the name should be, but enter your email here if you want to fight those enemies of the Baltimore football teams.!

What is the deal on the personal foul call. They called 2 penalties on the play. 1 for offensive false start, and the 1 for the unsportsman like.

2 points.

1. Doesn't and offensive false start call make the ball dead? Shouldn't the play have been stopped?
2. Why are these not offsetting penalties. I know that one is 15 yds and the other only a 5 yarder, but there are other situations where they offset.

I agree that this was a cheap call. I saw plenty of other instances where penalties should have been called that weren't. How about a helmet to helmet flag, when Heap was leveled on the sideline?

Pete's reply: The 5-15 rule applies only on personal fouls and allows the 15-yard penalty to be enforced. And, yes, the play should have been stopped, but the officials obviously failed to intervene and stop the play.

The Titans are just a better team, and have been for a while. It's pretty simple. The penalties equal out.

Pete's reply: I think the Titans are a better team, too, but I don't think the penalties evened out. The guy who got called for the Titans in the first half was swinging at everybody he got close to. He should have been ejected when he finally started fighting with his own teammates.

Given that the refs should have stopped the play for the offensive false start, that should have negated the personal foul, as it would have never happened if the refs were doing their job.

Just another example of how the refs can influence the outcome of a game.

Whereas I agree that the good teams should be able to overcome these types of bad calls. They should not need to. Just go as Carolina.

I agree that bad calls are apart of the game but they should never decide the game in fourth quarter. That's when its really not fair.

The Ravens have to take blame for the Suggs penatly. I was there and agree it was a bad call. But there was a false start penalty called on the same play that nobody heard the whistle for. Why? Because the Ravens blast "Crowd Noise" through their PA system so loud when the Ravens are on D, that nobody can hear anything on the field. So without the pipped in crowd noise, Suggs would have heard the whistle and stopped. If you don't believe the Ravens are responsible for "enhancing" the crowd noise, then you weren't there for the OT Browns game last year when half the stadium left at the end of regulation, but the "crowd noise" stayed the same in OT. The extra "crowd noise" cuts both ways and this time it got the Ravens.

I'll admit upfront that I have been a Steeler fan all my life but I always like to watch good D. Even with an aging R Lewis the Raven D is 1 of the best.
Having said that your D does make bone headed penalties more often than most. The call that you're complaining about was close. However, I've seen much worse.

Bottom line......we let an old drunk of a QB drive 65 yards(after penalty) for a game winning TD.

The DEFENSE choked!!!

Pete's reply: I would agree with you if Suggs had committed a personal foul there. He didnt.

That's not the point here. The point is you have to be able to overcome those calls. The Ravens simply aren't good enough at this point to do that. As another person wrote, the days of the DB's doing the offense's job are over. You can't win most NFL games by scoring 10 points. I can't say it enough, good teams overcome adversity and don't blame losses on anyone but their inability to step-up.

These refs around the league need to let the players play there were way too many flags thrown and some could of been excusable, the call on Suggs was the worst. Not just the Ravens but throughout the whole league the refs need to let these teams and players play the game and not think they can be the deciding factor!!!! If this penalty is not called the Ravens win this game point blank!!!

Pete, isn't it nice that we have controversies like this to distract us from the thievery and corruption in the whitehouse, congress, and wall street?

Pete's reply: Yes. But more importantly, isn't it nice that we have controversies like this to distract people long enough to read my blog?

where's roberto alomar when you need him?

All this tit for tat is silly. Almost any fan will agree that most games come down to a few plays, which the winning team steps up and takes charge. It is simply logical that if those few plays are overturned or nullified through officiating that the outcome of a game can be changed. That is a given. The only question remaining is do the ravens as a team get unfavorable treatment based on reputation, fairly or unfairly. Yesterday's result combined with years of the same treatment make me question. BTW, did anyone see the Ray Lewis takedown during a blitz of Collins in the last drive. It was right in front of the ref and Lewis ended up sitting backwards in front of Collins. No flag. In the Sunday Night game, same play and of course a flag.

Is anybody else out there curious as to why Harbaugh / Cameron chose to use McGahee instead of McClain in the 4th quarter? I don't disagree with the strategy to run the ball with the lead in the 4th quarter--it sealed both our victories. However, it was McClain that was the horse in both of those take-the-air-out-of-the-ball drives. I know the Titans were throwing run blitzes at us late--but McClain was pretty much getting 4 yards every single time he carried it. Questionable personnel decision to say the least.

I know yesterday was very upsetting and frustrating. All the Titans fans that come on here and act like they are so much better is a little ridiculous. Kerry Collins had a 13 QB rating at the half, they had 68 yards of offense with great starting field position every time. Yes, they made some good plays on the last drive, but let's face it, our defense had 1 bad drive that was fueled by a completely bogus call.

Everybody wants to hit the panic button so fast. Our team is no different had we held on to win 10-6 as opposed to of losing this game. The same questions are still out there. We need to be more aggressive late in the game, even when we have a lead. Great teams go for the kill every time. If we make mistakes then so be it, at least we won't be criticized for being too conservative. Who knows, maybe in the long run, the loss will force the coaches to make more changes as opposed to barely winning and ignoring what needs to be changed. We still have 75% of the season left, there's enough veterans on this team to rally this team and try to make a run at the playoffs, but we can't hold our heads based on a couple calls, we really need to move forward and focus on scoring some points against that awful defense in indy w/out bob sanders

This kind of article is exactly why this guy continues to live up to his last name.....

Pete's reply: Very original. Please tell me most Titan fans have a better sense of humor than you do.

I can't obviously speak to whether the fix is in when it comes to NFL games (all I can say for sure is the NFL never wanted a team back in Baltimore to encroach on Tagliabue's beloved Redskins, and the Ravens seem to be treated like a doormat despite being successful on the field and in the community). What really stinks is that the refs are becoming more and more influential on the outcome of the game. 15 yards plus an automatic first down is a game changer in any close contest. That's way too big a penalty for any infraction, especially one that's an arbitrary judgment by an official. The NFL is going to turn off a lot of fans all over the country unless they focus on letting the game be decided by the players on the field and not the officials. Why shouldn't the call against Suggs be reviewable? The rule is clear... the player cannot make contact with the helmet of the quarterback. It's not a judgment any more than if the player kept his feet in bounds or not. So go to the video, see if Suggs hit Collins' helmet, and make the correct call.

OK the umps destroyed MLB with their self imposed small strike zone. Now the NFL has followed by giving the refs the same type of power in football. Looking into the future what if.......that same ref finds himself flattened between two players during a play? Will he think twice about reaching for the flag on a BS call in the future?

Pete's reply: Pretty sure that's not the solution we're looking for.

The loss is on flacco, not on suggs. He gave away the game with his dumb interceptions. If he can't take shots down the field, take him out of the game! He can't process the game quickly enough at this point. He can only throw intermediate and short routes! This isn't Delaware versus Rhode Island anymore. Two interceptions should have been three. He can't throw deep balls. That makes the game so much easier for defenses. Put in Troy Smith. He can at least throw the deep ball, and he has a great understanding for the game.

Pete's reply: None of the interceptions, including the one that was ruled out of bounds, was on a deep route. Don't know how you come to that conclusion. Troy Smith is still gaining his weight back, so he isn't really an option yet, and shouldn't be. Flacco will be fine.

Ok. I have gotten really good at putting it behind me because we get robbed regularly. I am putting down the grudge but I will not forget the latest bad call.

Here is my prediction for this week:
Its a close game with Indy and we are leading with about 2 minutes left. Peyton throws under pressure to a covered reciever and its incomplete on 3rd down. Ravens celebrate but a flag flies in late and the refs get together (which is always when bad things happen to Baltimore). They decide that its a pass interference call against the defense. The ref explains, "The combination of Manning and the reciever are just too good not to complete the pass so that means there must have been a foul. Plus, its the Ravens."

Indy scores and everyone goes through the week talking about a great comeback and another close game for the Ravens.

Book it. I have seen this movie too many times in the Ravens short history. I know the script all too well.

The Ravens were not robbed. You just had a player, Suggs, would did something wrong and would not admit to it.

Yeah, the penalty for roughing the passer was questionable. But let's not forget that those same officials basically handed the Ravens an opportunity to get a touchdown early in the game that they couldn't capitalize on. It was the Ravens fault as a whole that they lost.

They had a lot of missed chances that cost them. I wish them better luck for the rest of the season, but I think we should all expect more of the same disappointment from here on out.

The Titians are not a better team. They were out played by the Ravens. The Titans got lucky that we have a rookie QB that made a couple of mistakes, adn a kicker that can't make FG's over 45 yards.

The Ravens were out coached yesterday! Why wasn't the ball spiked after McGahee's first down run at the end of the first half. There was more than thirty seconds left and a timeout when the ball was spotted by the officials. That is plenty of time to advance the ball or score a touchdown. Who is to blame for the twelve men on the field penalty on the Titans last drive?

The phantom head slap was not the only blatant screw-up by the refs on that final drive. A few plays later the Titans ran crossing routes in the left flat. The pass was completed to the receiver in the slot as he ran towards the sideline. The reason he was wide open was due to the fact that the wide receiver to that side illegally hit the slot receiver's defender (I think it was Walker or Washington) while the pass was in the air. It was soooo freaking obvious! It should have been offensive pass interference. And then an O-lineman for the Titans tackled Ngata as he was pursuing the QB right in front of the head ref!!! That's 3 officiating blunders in that last drive!!! Granted, the Ravens need to put that game away earlier, but that was ridiculous.

You Schmuck, that's exactly my dam point. I said he can't throw the deep balls. He doesn't throw them at all. That's why it's so easy for defenses to play against him, and that's why alot of his passes are getting picked off. I give him the credit of reading defenses when he has time, but he is horrendous at finding a 2nd option even when they're wide open. He doesn't know when to throw away the ball either. He needs time to grow a brain. He's got the brass and brawn, the arm strength the accuracy. He just isn't adapting to the game well. That's why we should put in Smith, who should be good to go next week. He was dressed this week, should get a good week of practice in and be ready to play some ball. Hopefully he takes over and plays a role like anderson did last year. He is in my opinion a much better option as of now.

Pete's reply: If you start playing musical QBs now, you might as well chalk up a 3-13 record right now.

I can't believe all the whining I'm reading. If anyone was really paying attention to the game, the score should have been 6-0 at the time of the questionable call on Suggs. The only reason Raven's had 10 was because of the Titan's losing their cool. And the first FG was because of a questionable call on the Titans when he was getting jumped by 2 thug Ravens. You know what....I'm wrong.... if Stover would have made that FG before the half it would have been bad.

OK, I couldn't resist... I usually check opposing teams' local newspaper on Mondays for perspective on the win/loss... this complaining about the personal foul penalty is pathetic. Cry me a river. There are documented bad calls in the history of the NFL that resulted in a bogus loss (see Chargers and the Culter empty hand) but yesterday's call wasn't one of them. Outplayed, outscored and, yes I'll say it, outclassed (we remember that mouth on D-Mace). The most gratifying part of yesterday's win was that our offense drove the ball 80 yards for a score at a point in the game where your "awesome" defense knew exactly what we had to do to move the ball/manage the clock. It was like a pitcher telling the batter what pitches are coming and still ringing him up. If the Ravens want revenge we'll see them in the playoffs. PS.. tell Ray Lewis he did not protect this house.

Being a Ravens fan is embarrassing.

Not because I don't like the team or the players or because of the mounting losses, but because our fans are a bunch of whiners. The refs aren't against us week after week. We're losing because we don't score enough points on offense and our defense isn't sealing the deal at the end of the game. As bad as the roughing call was yesterday, stop whining about it. 2 roughing penalties in 2 games don't sum up the losses.

Jacobo, well said. It isn't on the defense, the ref's, suggs or stover. We can't score points, and regardless of that penalty we had plenty of chances to stop them on that same drive. All but one penalty were definitely shooting ourselves in the foot.

please post this comment for all the so called ravens fans that seem to be way too frustrated way too soon with Flacco. Flacco is a rookie quarterback playing behind a young line, with short receivers with a great but soft tight end. looks like everybody finding out that our lack of scoring had nothing to do with billick and more to do with the character we have on offense. and for all you suspect fans please give flacco a chance to fail before you start critisizing how he's playing. the ravens offense is going to be soft no matter who is quarterbacking until we get a deep threat.

im more worried about mcgahee and for some reason i dont hear anybody talking about his lack of play. in the 4th quarter with the game on the line we gave him the ball three times in a row and he didnt do anything when mccclain had just ran for plenty of yards on the same drive. (im referring to the last drive the ravens had the ball) i think mcgahee is soft and i hope we get rid of him after this season.

Stop your whining Ravens Fans! When you lose, you lose! Take your medicine like a MAN!!!!!

Cmon! It's not always the ref's fault. How would you like to be San Diego after they lost at Denver? You still had your opportunities!

I read your column and at tuimes I disagree with you and also with your readers. yes Flacco made some bad decisions as well as coach harbaugh. The officials also made bad calls. What actually happens in any sport there are mistakes all around.I root for the ravens to win every game and know they will not do that. I would like to see them in every super bowl and know they will not do that. Under billick the ravens were to me too predictable and changes needed to be sooner than they were. I go to a abr to watch the games on big screen tv. I get my drinks and snacks and get into the game like evryone else there. The ravens are playing better football this year which I like. To me the offense was more reserve againts Tn. this may have been do to the injurys to some players but at least there was some good offense. I am enjoying what I see from the ravens except for the stupid penalities as they had chances to win the 2 games they lost. In the past few years the games would not have been decided by fiels goals. My only expectation for this years was to see a more balanced team effort and so far that has come to past. There is room for improvement and I expect to see that. As far as the playoff's and super bowl we will have to wait till near the end of the season to see where they stand as I only take one game at a time. I only want to see a good hard faught game with as few mistakes as possible and my team win and I root for that every game I watch and if the ravens win they win if they loose I can accept that also. phil C

Pete, why are you trying to use reason and logic when dealing with these inbred rednecks ?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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