An­other re­play chal­lenge fails in pass in­ter­fer­ence de­bate

Har­baugh doesn’t dis­pute calls of­ten, but he did Sun­day

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS - By Daniel Oye­fusi

In a tight game be­tween the Ravens and San Fran­cisco 49ers on Sun­day, two plays in­volv­ing pos­si­ble pass in­ter­fer­ence penal­ties took cen­ter stage.

Af­ter quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son was stripped deep in 49ers ter­ri­tory — the play was his first lost fum­ble of the season — cor­ner­back Mar­lon Humphrey was flagged for de­fen­sive pass in­ter­fer­ence on a piv­otal fourth-down at­tempt from the Ravens 29.

Humphrey made con­tact with the in­tended re­ceiver, wide­out Em­manuel San­ders, ex­tend­ing a drive that re­sulted in a 32-yard field goal by kicker Rob­bie Gould to tie the score at 17.

On the Ravens en­su­ing of­fen­sive pos­ses­sion, Jack­son tar­geted Mark An­drews on third-and-11 deep down the field. 49ers safety Jimmie Ward leaped to­ward the ball, crash­ing into the back of An­drews be­fore the pass ar­rived, but de­fen­sive pass in­ter­fer­ence was not called.

Coach John Har­baugh chal­lenged for de­fen­sive pass in­ter­fer­ence, just his se­cond pass in­ter­fer­ence chal­lenge this season, but of­fi­cials up­held the call on the field. The NFL al­lowed coaches to chal­lenge pass in­ter­fer­ence calls or non­calls this season in re­sponse to the con­tro­ver­sial end­ing of last season’s NFC cham­pi­onship game be­tween the Los An­ge­les Rams and New Or­leans Saints.

Ac­cord­ing to a graphic on the Fox broad­cast, there have been 77 to­tal pass in­ter­fer­ence re­views this season, and just 15 have re­versed the call on the field.

Late hits on Jack­son irk Ravens

Ravens quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son en­tered Sun­day’s matchup against the San Fran­cisco 49ers with 124 rush­ing at­tempts, 31 more than any other quar­ter­back in the NFL.

Jack­son has done a good job of avoid­ing big hits in the open field this season, but Ravens play­ers took is­sue with what they be­lieved were mul­ti­ple un­called late hits from 49ers de­fend­ers in the team’s 20-17 home win.

“I think they def­i­nitely were try­ing to take ad­van­tage of [Jack­son], man, as far as once he got past the line of scrim­mage or run­ning out of bounds,” right tackle Or­lando Brown Jr. said af­ter the game. “They wanted to get him down, and what­ever it was, get as many touches and as many hits on him as pos­si­ble.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate. A few times, I think it should’ve been a penalty. But that’s not my re­spon­si­bil­ity. That’s on the refs, man. But La­mar did a great job pop­ping back up and get­ting right back to it.”

San Fran­cisco was flagged twice for rough­ing the passer when Jack­son was in the pocket. On a third-quar­ter run, Jack­son was shoved out of bounds by 49ers cor­ner­back Richard Sher­man.

Ref­er­ees ini­tially threw their flags but later an­nounced that there was no penalty for a late hit out of bounds. The de­ci­sion drew the ire of the an­nounced 71,000 fans at M&T Bank Sta­dium and coach John Har­baugh, who had words for Sher­man.

“[Har­baugh] was say­ing I made a dirty play on La­mar,” Sher­man said. “The quar­ter­back was run­ning like a run­ning back. If you don’t touch him, then he runs up the side­line, and if you do touch him, it’s like ev­ery­one is throw­ing up the hub­bub.

“That is where it is tough on de­fen­sive play­ers. Ev­ery play where the quar­ter­back runs, they are like, ‘Oh my God, that should be a flag,’ but he was run­ning just a half-se­cond ago, and you are mak­ing a split-se­cond de­ci­sion, like ‘Hey, I’ve got to tackle him,’ and then he slides. It is a tough po­si­tion to put the de­fense in, but I think our guys did a great job.”

Ravens set fran­chise record for TDs

The 2019 Ravens made his­tory in the first quar­ter, set­ting the fran­chise sin­gle-season record for touch­downs.

Jack­son lofted a 20-yard touch­down pass to An­drews, ty­ing the score at 7 with 5:41left in the quar­ter. It was the team’s 48th score of the season, break­ing the record held by the 2009 Ravens for the most in a season.

ULYSSES MUÑOZ/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

De­fen­sive back Jimmie Ward de­fends a pass to Ravens tight end Mark An­drews. There was a ques­tion of whether it was de­fen­sive pass in­ter­fer­ence, but no flag was thrown.

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