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With the Ravens hanging on to an 8 point lead the very first play of the 4th quarter was one of the key plays in the game. At these times in the game is when Tom Brady makes his living being known as one of the most clutch QB’s of all time, but instead on this drive was cut short. The Patriots decide to run the ball with Ridley, who rips off 8 yards, but gets hit helmet-to-helmet by Bernard Pollard and gets knocked out cold and fumbles the ball. This is one of the biggest plays in the game and it has some Patriots fans questioning, not only the fumble,  but the rules for helmet-to-helmet hits on players.

No one blames Ridley for fumbling because you don’t have control of your limbs when you get hit into next week, but Patriots fans are wondering about the call in general. Referee Bill Leavy was the one who reviewed it in the booth and when asked about the call by an ESPNBoston.com reporter Leavy said “What I saw was the receiver was going to the ground, had both legs off the ground, no body part was on the ground.” Leavy then went on to explain “The ball hit his knee and dislodged from his hand before the rest of his body hit the ground, therefore it was a fumble and we confirmed it.”

In looking at the replay I agree with the call Leavy made, but there has been some chatter throughout Patriot nation if his butt was on the ground prior to the ball coming out. Unfortunately the game is over and that call by Leavy did not determine the outcome of this game. The game was lost in the turnover battle, red zone effectiveness and for the Patriots they lost the battle on the defensive line getting virtually no pressure on Flacco. Leavy made a good call and maybe there should be a helmet-to-helmet rule regarding running backs, but as it stands the rule only applies to players who cannot avoid the contact otherwise known as “defenseless.” Congratulations should be given to the Ravens for coming into Gillette and holding our offense scoreless in the second half.

Joshua Brown 1/21/2013 11:55:00 AM Edit
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