Monday, November 29, 2010

21 point swing

Late in the 2nd quarter of yesterday's Bucs-Ravens game, Tampa defender Myron Lewis was flagged for pass interference against TJ Houshmazilly. This put the ball on the Bucs 10 yard line with 37 seconds left in the half, and on the next play Flacco threw a TD pass to Mason, to put the Ravens up 17-3.

Just a few mins earlier in the same quarter, the Ravens kicked off after Todd Heap's touchdown reception, and Tampa's Micheal Spurlock busted a big return, finally getting tackled by Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff.

Later in the game, with about 12 mins to go in the 4th quarter, on 3rd down from their 40, Tampa QB Josh Freeman lofted a bomb to Spurlock. Spurlock had toasted Ravens CB Lardarius Webb with a double move, beating him deep. The ball bounced off of Spurlock's hand in the end zone and fell incomplete.

The pass interference call was, to put it charitably, “questionable”. A lucky break for the Ravens. Without that call, the Ravens almost certainly don't score that second touchdown. The kick return – can we agree that, whenever your kicker has to make the tackle, you are lucky it did not go all the way for a touchdown? And the deep ball, that pass should have been caught. It hit Spurlock in the hand!

That is a 21 point swing. Take 7 points off the board for the Ravens, and put 14 on for the Bucs, and instead of a 17-10 win Baltimore is left with a 24-10 loss.

The crazy thing is, as a Ravens fan, I really felt they had the game under control. They kept Tampa bottled up in their own end for much of the first half, etc: didn't really seem threatened. I may have to recalibrate my “game sense” or something, because this game could easily have been a 2-TD loss for the Ravens. And maybe it should have been.


  1. Yeah, pretty std for the NFL: Eagles lose by 5 after having the ball inside the Chi 10 with a minute left in the half -- run the ball, assume no TD and kick the XP-lengeth FG -- no time is left in H1 for Chi to drive down the field for a TD.

    Instead, tipped pass at LoS, lucky deflection, INT, few passes later = TD.

    One play turns a 5-9 pt PHL road win into a 5 pt CHI home win.

    [Obvs it's not necessarily that simple, but it could be.]


  2. Put 7 back on the board for the Ravens with the proper calling of the Holding against Boldin that erased Rice's TD run, though. I also felt the Ravens had this game in hand, despite the two plays you mentioned.

    Like Naj said above, it goes like that in NFL. We're pretty much 2 defensive stops (1 in ATL, 1 in NE) away from being 10-1.


  3. I need to know the rule more before I say that DPI was questionable. There are two pieces that are key, and I don't know which overrules the other...

    1) Lewis had his head back looking for the ball. That was clear.

    2) Lewis also was running with his arms out and slowed down, VERY clearly impeding the receiver's path to the ball. Imagine you're racing with a buddy, get a step on him, and want to make sure he doesn't pass get in front of him with your body, then spread your arms and make sure he can't get around. That's what he did.

    What I don't know is, does his head turn back to the ball negate the impeding of the receiver's path? I know head turning back allows him to run a path to the ball, have contact and not be called DPI. What I don't know is if it allows him to basically block the receiver out of the play when he's not trying to make a play on the ball.

    If it does, then it definitely shouldn't be DPI. If it doesn't, then it definitely should.

    FWIW, there was a pretty ridiculous make-up call on a third down pass to Heap who was BADLY interfered with, and didn't get the call. This I think was the third quarter. Ravens pick that third down up and continue the drive and it could have been game over right there.

  4. Unless you're British, you're supposed to put the punctuation mark inside the quotation marks, not outside of it.

    And I believe it's spelled, "Houshmandziggly."

  5. That DPI was horrendous.



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