CLEVELAND — It wouldn't be a Ravens game without some sort of officiating controversy.
This time, it seems that the Ravens may have benefited from a noncall on the decisive play of their 33-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.
Replays of Brent Urban's blocked kick, which Will Hill returned for a 64-yard, game-winning touchdown with no time on the clock, seemed to show Anthony Levine lined up in the neutral zone on the play.
Levine, who was rushing from the outside, had jumped before the snap, but got back onsides in time. However, it appeared that his head and hand were still in the neutral zone when the ball was snapped.
The NFL said Tuesday that the Ravens were not offside on the play.
Levine had no impact on the play, though that hardly matters. SB Nation was the first to bring up the potential missed call.
The Browns did not complain about the potential infraction after the game, nor was there any griping about Hill stepping out of bounds on the return. He tiptoed up the sideline before scoring.
However, we probably haven't heard the last of this topic with officials under the microscope more and more every week because of a series of blown calls late in games.
The Ravens were victims of one in their 22-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 15. The NFL later acknowledged that the Jaguars offensive line was not set for enough time on the play, during which Ravens rush linebacker Elvis Dumervil was called for a face-mask penalty on Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. A penalty should have been called and that would have resulted in a 10-second runoff with the Ravens winning, 20-19.
Dumervil's penalty, instead, gave the Jaguars a shot at a game-winning field goal and Jason Myers nailed it, converting from 53 yards.
This time, it seems the Ravens may have been the team that caught a break.