There was plenty of confusion in the final seconds yesterday of the Ravens' 22-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium.
Nobody was disputing the fact that Elvis Dumervil grabbed quarterback Blake Bortles' face mask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh was initially confused about the spot of the ball.
In the not-so distant past, face-mask penalties were considered spot fouls. Dumervil was called for the infraction at the Jaguars' 45-yard line. In the past, the 15 yards would have been enforced from there. That would have meant the ball would have been placed at the Ravens' 40-yard line, making it a 58-yard field-goal attempt by rookie Jason Myers.
However, a new rule was put in place recently that established that personal foul penalties behind the line of scrimmage are now enforced from the previous spot.
The previous spot was at the Ravens' 49-yard line, so the officials marked the 15 yards from there. That left Myers with a 53-yard field-goal attempt, which he put through the uprights, delivering another blow to the Ravens' season.
Myers crushed the kick. The extra five yards might not have mattered, but in this case, a recent rule change made Myers' kick five yards shorter.