Ravens mad at themselves and the officials following loss to Cardinals

The players chose their words carefully, accepting the blame for their latest loss while seemingly remaining confused by some of the calls that were part of the Ravens' 26-18 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals Monday night.

Quarterback Joe Flacco acknowledged that the Ravens "probably didn't play well enough to win the football game," and his coach, John Harbaugh, lamented the mistakes the Ravens continue to make and acknowledged that they're just not good enough to overcome them.


However, Harbaugh also voiced his displeasure on several calls made by Ronald Torbert's officiating crew, and the communication between the referee and the Ravens sideline.

"You keep your poise and you fight like crazy to overcome it. The one thing I know is, those guys in the locker room right there, they are fighting with everything that they got to win a football game. The games in this league are going to be close. They're going to come down to plays just like that and they're going to turn on calls like that many times," Harbaugh said. "You expect them to be consistent and fair. That's what you ask for. Our guys are just going to have to overcome it. It's not the first time this year, but that's OK. We've got to be good enough to overcome those things. That's how we look at it."

Asked if he felt that the officiating Monday night was "consistent and fair," Harbaugh said, "You know I can't comment on that."

The coach and several of his players did comment on specific referee decisions with which they disagreed. The first was the illegal formation call on John Urschel following the offensive lineman's 6-yard catch in the first quarter. Torbert ruled that Urschel wasn't an eligible receiver despite replays showing that the second-year player jogged from the sideline in the referee's direction and reported himself eligible. He repeated the motion several times and quarterback Joe Flacco also pointed it out to Torbert.

"[Torbert] said that he didn't see it," Harbaugh said. "Yeah, it's self-explanatory. John did everything that he was supposed to do in that situation, just as he was coached. Joe looked at it, he saw it, I saw it. … He did exactly what he was coached to do and what he was instructed to do in that situation. It was a legal formation. "

Flacco, who reacted angrily when the call was made, said, "I pointed to the referee. I can't hear what they're saying out there but it looked like he saw what we were saying and said something and blew the whistle. I just assumed it was all good."

Late in the second quarter, Ravens return man Jeremy Ross was ruled to have fumbled a punt that ultimately led to a Cardinals' touchdown. The play, which was very close, was reviewed and upheld, surprising Ross.

"I felt like my knee was down," he said. "I thought for sure the call was going to get overturned."

Making matters worse, Asa Jackson was given a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the play after he got into an altercation down the field. Jackson declined to comment on the play, but Harbaugh felt that it shouldn't have been called, given how the rest of the game was officiated.

"It was for shoving in the chest," he said. "I saw about 50 shoves out there through the course of the game. Yeah, I guess I can tell him not to shove a guy away when he's in your facemask. And I'll tell him to do that, just turn around and walk away. But usually shoving is not a personal foul-caliber flag. Now, if I watch the TV copy and I find out it's different than that, but the official told me on my sideline that it's for shoving. There could have been a lot of shoving calls."

Then, there was Chris Johnson's 62-yard run late in the third quarter. Johnson had been corralled by Brandon Williams, but wound up landing in the big nose tackle's lap and not hitting the ground. With no whistle, Johnson got up and kept running all the way down to the Ravens' 8-yard line, Will Hill's hustle the only thing stopping him from scoring a touchdown. The Ravens were adamant that his progress was stopped and the whistle should have blown.

"I got no explanation on that whatsoever that was of any value," Harbaugh said. "The forward progress was stopped. If you hit him in that situation, then you're going to get fined and penalized. A 15-yard penalty and it's going to be a fine. The play, it was three seconds it was stopped for. He had declared himself down. He was sitting there. We shouldn't have hit him there. It would have been a dangerous play."

Williams, however, said that he has learned his lesson.

"I thought he was on the ground," he said. "Usually when I tackle somebody, they are down. I thought he was down, but he wasn't. I'm not the referee. I can't make that call. But I thought he was down."


Asked what he would do differently next time, Williams said, "Hit him harder, get him down, keep him down. Just hold onto him a little longer."

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