The Cincinnati Bengals’ game-winning drive in Sunday’s 31-27 win against the Ravens was aided by a pair of penalties on the defense. And the two players who drew the flags did not see eye-to-eye with the officials.
On second-and-10 from Cincinnati’s 33-yard line, quarterback Andy Dalton missed wide receiver Brandon LaFell along the right sideline. But cornerback Brandon Carr was flagged for pass interference, giving the Bengals a fresh set of downs at their own 43.
Asked for his reaction to the penalty call, Carr said: “I didn’t agree with any of them, not even the one in the first quarter [that Cincinnati converted into a touchdown]. It’s tough out there, but that’s why I play this game. It’s always a challenge each and every week checking these top receivers. But they get a little help on the back end at times. But we’ll go back to the drawing board and clean up my technique this offseason. But I’m never going to take away my physicality or how I play with my hands out there on the island. It is what it is.”
Three plays later, on third-and-5 at the Bengals’ 48, Dalton lofted a throw in LaFell’s direction, which was intercepted by safety Eric Weddle. But the interception was wiped out after rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey was called for holding.
“I know I jumped right in front of him, and I felt like we just both collided,” Humphrey said. “But the ref told me I pulled him down. I have to see if it on film, but when the flag is thrown, the refs are always right.”
Entering Sunday, the Ravens ranked third in the NFL in fewest number of penalties (83) and penalty yards (702), and they finished the game with only five penalties for 47 yards. Wide receiver Mike Wallace refused to blame Sunday’s outcome on the officials.
“We’re not about to sit up and say that the referees made us lose this football game,” he said. “We didn’t make enough plays when it counted, and that’s why we lost the football game, not the referees. They’re going to have good calls, and they’re going to have bad calls, and you’ve just got to play through them.”