Breakdown of awful ref calls in Patriots-Ravens game

This is an awesome breakdown of every penalty in the Baltimore - New England game. I've been crying about the refs in this game ever since Sunday. Though it doesn't compare to that horrible call in last night's Monday Night Football game, the refs indisputably also had an influence on the outcome of the game on Sunday night.

The most egregious calls came in the fourth quarter. While the refs didn't give points to the other team, like they did in the Seattle-Green Bay game, they constantly extended drives. The Patriots defense made plays in the end to win the game and put the Ravens in a very difficult position, each time the refs bailed them out with calls that were OBVIOUSLY wrong. Don't tell me that the refs didn't effect the outcome of this game.

H/T to Ghost Rat for in the shoutbox for the find. This comes from djbennyc on

In an effort to show how poorly officiated this game was I decided to look at every penalty in the game. The stunning thing was how one-sided the penalties were in favor of Baltimore. Now, I'm a Patriots fan, but I'm also a student of football. I love the sport and I love analyzing it. I tried to be as impartial as I could -- and even if I was a little slanted towards the Patriots, the volume of bad or poorly called penalties that benefited the Ravens last night is apparent to anyone.
1st Quarter:
1-10-NE 49 (3:10) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady scrambles left end to BAL 44 for 7 yards (92-H.Ngata). PENALTY on BAL-91-C.Upshaw, Personal Foul, 15 yards, enforced at BAL 44. Analysis: Ticky tack at best. Refs were trying to reign in the teams by calling this I think. A bad call but not an egregiously bad one. Ngata isn't even the one penalized, but he's the one who pancaked Brady.
2-8-BAL 27 (2:14) (No Huddle) 22-S.Ridley right tackle to BAL 18 for 9 yards (52-R.Lewis). PENALTY on NE-87-R.Gronkowski, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at BAL 20. Analysis: Gronkowski is called for a hold that is also ticky tack. Kind of a strange call, but I'm not broken up over it.
3-11-BAL 30 (1:48) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass deep left to 11-J.Edelman to BAL 11 for 19 yards (29-C.Williams). PENALTY on NE-11-J.Edelman, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at BAL 30 - No Play. Analysis: Williams never turns around to see the ball, but is pushing on Edelman. While Edelman is certainly pushing back, Williams is absolutely the one who should have been penalized, as he never made a play on the ball, only on the man. How this is OPI is beyond me -- it should have been DPI. Williams has his arm up around Edelman's neck. Edelman's got his arm on Williams side, but at the very worst, this should have offsetting penalties. This is a HUGE penalty, as it turns it from a first and goal to a 3-and-21, forcing a field goal.
2nd Quarter:
3-6-BAL 22 (15:00) (Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass incomplete short left to 27-R.Rice. PENALTY on NE-51-J.Mayo, Defensive Pass Interference, 2 yards, enforced at BAL 22 - No Play. Analysis: Totally wrong. The ref is standing 15 feet away looking directly at Rice and Mayo and doesn't pull his flag -- it comes from elsewhere. More importantly, we are still within 5 yards of the LOS, meaning some contact is allowed -- LOS is the 22 and Rice gets the ball thrown his way at the 24. The call makes zero sense, and turns it from a 4-and-6 to a first down.
2-6-BAL 28 (14:20) (No Huddle) 27-R.Rice right tackle to BAL 47 for 19 yards (28-S.Gregory). PENALTY on BAL-81-A.Boldin, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at BAL 37. Analysis: Completely legit. Boldin has the defender (McCourty) around the neck. That's a penalty, plain and simple.
1-10-NE 49 (12:11) (No Huddle) PENALTY on BAL-73-M.Yanda, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at NE 49 - No Play. Analysis: Probably right (Collinsworth agrees with the call, for the record). Wilfork moves (legal) and Yanda jumps. No screenshot; have to watch it in real time to follow.
3-13-BAL 48 (11:28) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass short right to 81-A.Boldin to NE 40 for 12 yards (32-D.McCourty). Baltimore challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass short right to 81-A.Boldin to NE 38 for 14 yards (32-D.McCourty). Analysis: First off, the runner was called down a good yard short -- and then Harbaugh is given a free timeout by the refs in order for a measurement. It's an obvious yard short -- the spot is good. Then Baltimore challenges and it's reversed for no logical reason. There's no CLEAR evidence, which is what you need for a reversal. There is none of that. As Collinsworth says, when you run at an angle, you don't get the full extension of the ball, you get where you go out of bounds. Despite this, the call is reversed. This goes from a 4-and-1 or a punt situation to a first down.
1-10-NE 25 (9:53) (No Huddle) 5-J.Flacco pass deep left to 82-T.Smith for 25 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Analysis: Torrey Smith does exactly what Julian Edelman does on #3, and a flag is immediately thrown -- but it's waved off. The arm is extended by Smith (not legal), but Arrington is giving it back as well. Yet, on this play, the OPI isn't called. It's about calling the game evenly, and this isn't an even call. If you're going to be bad, be consistently bad. There's no real contact, but it's basically what happened to Edelman. And Arrington, to his credit turns his head to try and see the ball at least. It's not DPI, but could easily have been called OPI based on before.
1-10-NE 20 (9:45) PENALTY on NE-11-J.Edelman, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at NE 20 - No Play. Analysis: Yup. Edelman jumps.
1-10-NE 31 (1:14) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short left to 39-D.Woodhead pushed ob at NE 36 for 5 yards (52-R.Lewis). PENALTY on BAL-59-D.Ellerbe, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at NE 31 - No Play. Analysis: Gronkowski initiates contact, but then Ellerbe grabs the back of Gronkowki's jersey and pulls him down. It's a bit ticky-tack but it's hardly unreasonable -- after all, Ellerbe does pull Gronkowski to the ground by grabbing the back of his jersey.
1-10-NE 49 (:35) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass incomplete deep left to 85-B.Lloyd. PENALTY on BAL-29-C.Williams, Illegal Contact, 5 yards, enforced at NE 49 - No Play. Analysis: It's an obvious call. Red line is 5 yards from LOS and contact is made 7 yards after that. Williams pushes Lloyd with two arms, full extension. The flag is thrown immediately and before the ball is released.
3rd Quarter:
2-8-BAL 37 (14:06) 5-J.Flacco pass incomplete deep middle to 81-A.Boldin. PENALTY on NE-24-K.Arrington, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at BAL 37 - No Play. Analysis: Hard to tell, but the point is that the ref who threw the flag had no way of seeing what the penalty could have been as it happened on other side of the players. Still, it's pretty fair to say that there was no holding. The first screencap is from within the first five yards -- which is legal, and not around the neck or face. The second, after five yards, shows Arrington's hands not on Boldin. Then, Arrington with one hand on Boldin, but making what is pretty incidental contact. The flag is already out, which means that the ref would have been calling it on the second cap where there's no obvious penalty occuring. Collinsworth and Michaels agree that it is bunk. From 3-and-8 to 1-and-10.
1-10-BAL 39 (8:49) (No Huddle) 39-D.Woodhead left end to BAL 36 for 3 yards (59-D.Ellerbe). PENALTY on BAL-31-B.Pollard, Personal Foul, 15 yards, enforced at BAL 36. Analysis: Mankins initiates some after the play contact, but Pollard then goes and hits Mankins in the face right in front of the referee. Players shove here and there all the time after the play (as evidenced by, oh, the rest of this game). Mankins was doing what most players do, and as you can see in the second cap, Pollard has his hands at the face and neck and pads of Mankins and he does it right in front of the ref. Pollard then follows it up with a third piece of contact, hitting Mankins in the chest while the ref is grabbing him. It's not a great call, but in a game where the refs are trying to contain this kind of action, it's legit.
1-10-BAL 20 (6:48) PENALTY on BAL-82-T.Smith, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at BAL 20 - No Play.Analysis: Smith moves. It's obvious.
2-15-BAL 15 (6:43) 5-J.Flacco pass deep left to 82-T.Smith pushed ob at NE 47 for 38 yards (25-P.Chung). Penalty on NE-29-S.Moore, Defensive Holding, declined. Analysis: A big gain -- and the flag is thrown 15 yards short of the spot where Smith ran out of bounds. First, the only contact made on the play is at the 19/20 yard line, which is within the 5 yards of allowed contact. The contact extends to about the 21 for about 2/10th of a second, and it's while Smith blows by Moore. It's not a great call, but because it's such incidental contact, it had zero effect on the rest of the play as Moore goes for a huge gain.
2-5-NE 42 (5:54) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass short middle to 88-D.Pitta to NE 33 for 9 yards (21-R.Dowling). PENALTY on BAL-73-M.Yanda, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 42 - No Play.Analysis: Yanda obviously holds Wilfork. It's not even really an argument. Yanda puts his hands inside the jersey on the outside of the body. Wilfork is calling for the flag before the play is even over.
4-15-BAL 48 (5:15) (Punt formation) 4-S.Koch punts 41 yards to NE 11, Center-46-M.Cox. 83-W.Welker to NE 18 for 7 yards (23-C.Brown). PENALTY on NE-90-N.Koutouvides, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at BAL 48 - No Play. Analysis: ...
1-10-BAL 45 (2:53) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass incomplete short middle to 84-D.Branch. PENALTY on BAL-22-J.Smith, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at BAL 45 - No Play. Analysis: As plain as day. Smith falls down and grabs Branch to make sure he falls down. While you can have contact before 5 yards, you can't grab a guys facemask and pull him down.
3-3-BAL 33 (1:28) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass incomplete short left to 84-D.Branch. PENALTY on BAL-20-E.Reed, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at BAL 33. Analysis: I really hope no one thinks this wasn't a penalty on Reed. Three flags pop out immediately. This is Reed's second of these of the game; the first one was left uncalled for no logical reason. It's an obvious penalty. Five years ago, it's not. Now, it is.
4th Quarter:
1-10-BAL 20 (6:55) (No Huddle) 5-J.Flacco pass incomplete deep right to 82-T.Smith. PENALTY on BAL-73-M.Yanda, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at BAL 20 - No Play. Analysis: Yanda gets beat and has to hold up Cunningham, pulling him to the ground. It's legit.
2-14-BAL 16 (6:18) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass incomplete deep right to 82-T.Smith. PENALTY on NE-32-D.McCourty, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at BAL 16 - No Play. Analysis: The worst call of the night. It turns it from a 3-and-14 to a 1-and-10. McCourty reaches out and makes contact for a tenth of a second, and "holding" is called. Not DPI or a contact penalty -- holding. Collinsworth and Michael are both dumbstruck by the call as it makes literally zero sense, saying "Wow." and "Guys, keep negotiating, will ya?" If this is a penalty, there's a penalty on every pass play as this kind of contact happens on nearly every play past the five yards.
2-5-NE 37 (4:48) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass short right to 27-R.Rice to NE 10 for 27 yards (24-K.Arrington). NE-24-K.Arrington was injured during the play. Analysis: No penalty, but this happens -- and it's not called. How this isn't a penalty is beyond me as right after this Ninkovich goes to the ground. Oher hooks Ninkovich around the neck, which is literally defined in the rulebook as holding.
"Pass blocking: Hand(s) thrust forward that slip outside the body of the defender will be legal if blocker immediately worked to bring them back inside. Hand(s) or arm(s) that encircle a defender—i.e., hook an opponent—are to be considered illegal and officials are to call a foul for holding."
It's an obvious -- and missed -- offensive holding call on a play that should be 2-and-15 from the NE 47 but is instead 1-and-10 from just outside the NE 10 yard line. A HUGE mistake. But that's not all.
2-10-NE 10 (4:15) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco sacked at NE 22 for -12 yards (sack split by 95-C.Jones and 74-K.Love). PENALTY on NE-55-B.Spikes, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at NE 10 - No Play.Analysis: HUGE bail out by the refs. What goes from should be a 3-and-goal from the 22 to a 1-and-goal from the 5. Spikes is called for holding before the five yards on a play in which both players have their hands all over each other, engaging in contact with each other at the same time. After five yards, Spikes lets go and Pitta pushes off of him, extending his arm and maintaining contact with Spikes on his own. In reality, it's no penalty at all. It gives the Ravens a HUGE break.
3-9-NE 32 (2:28) (Shotgun) 12-T.Brady pass short right intended for 83-W.Welker INTERCEPTED by 21-L.Webb at NE 40. 21-L.Webb to NE 40 for no gain (87-R.Gronkowski). PENALTY on BAL-21-L.Webb, Illegal Contact, 5 yards, enforced at NE 32 - No Play. Analysis: The correct call. It's 3 & 8 -- the interception is made at the 40 yard line. That would mean that there's no contact made after the 37 yard line. It is fairly clear after watching that play that Webb is grabbed Welker after the 37 yard line. It is CLEARLY illegal contact on the play. This was the right call. This isn't like the previous penalty where both players are pushing and grabbing -- Welker is doing none of it and Webb is holding Welker the entire six+ yards up the field around the neck of the jersey and the shoulder. To say that this isn't a penalty is just foolish. Webb is obviously commiting a foul here. It could have been a hold or contact -- either one.
1-10-NE 37 (2:23) 22-S.Ridley left guard to NE 40 for 3 yards (50-A.McClellan). PENALTY on BAL, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced at NE 40. Unsportsmanlike conduct called on Baltimore Bench. Analysis: Stupid penalty to call in this spot. Harbaugh is saying "I wanted a time out". I don't think it was worth a flag here. This is, by the way, the first "bad" penalty to hurt Baltimore in this game. The first. 57 minutes and 37 seconds into the game. It's the first.
3-9-NE 34 (:52) (No Huddle, Shotgun) 5-J.Flacco pass incomplete deep right to 12-J.Jones. PENALTY on NE-32-D.McCourty, Defensive Pass Interference, 27 yards, enforced at NE 34 - No Play. Analysis: Yup. This is absolutely a penalty. McCourty hooks Jones. It's legit.
The field goal isn't one I'm going to get into. It was called good. I'm not sure about that, but hey, it's not why the Ravens won the game.
So there you go. Take it for what you want.