R. Lewis questions two calls against Ravens

Tripping, roughing-the-passer penalties cost team, linebacker says

  • Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis yells at referee Gene Steratore after he was called for a tripping penalty, which gave the Bengals a first down and new life in the third quarter.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis yells at referee Gene Steratore… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
September 19, 2010|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

Cincinnati — — Middle linebacker Ray Lewis said two questionable penalties cost the Ravens in a 15-10 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lewis was called for tripping quarterback Carson Palmer late in the third quarter, which led to a field goal and a Cincinnati 9-7 lead. Replays showed that Lewis rolled under Palmer after being blocked into him.

Then, after the Ravens regained the lead, linebacker Terrell Suggs was flagged for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter, which led to the game-winning field goal. It didn't appear as if Suggs had slammed Palmer in the ground, which is what the officials ruled.

Lewis believes quarterbacks get preferential treatment.

"I don't think I want to be politically correct right here. I want to be honest," Lewis said. "Honest is you put six points on the [darn]board by people doing their jobs. We laugh about it so much [about] quarterbacks getting all of this protection. I get tired of whining about quarterbacks. [But] Terrell can't stop in midair and pull up on Carson after he still has the ball."

Lewis added, "You always try to be careful because the league always tries to fine you. But there are so many rules that take away from the game. I get blocked into the player and you tell me that I tripped this man, but this man fell over my feet. There's too much crying from them. You already make the big money. Keep your big money. But don't cry when you step on the football field. That's war out there. If you want to go at it, go at it hard. But don't disrespect the game like that."

Lewis said it wouldn't make a difference for him to talk to officials about the penalties.

"They're going to go back and pull up their review board. The bottom line is it doesn't matter," Lewis said. "At the end of the day, you've got people playing with snap this, broke this, hurt this, hurt that and that's the way you repay us. When you look at the scoreboard and say, 'Oh, my bad.' My bad? Your bad doesn't work in my world. I went through this a year ago. When you look at the points on the board [and] when you come into someone else's stadium, and you move them up 30 yards. I'm just talking about 30 yards."

Suggs disagreed with Lewis on one point about his penalty.

"Did we win or lose the game right there?," Suggs said, "Absolutely not."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said there is too much grey area surrounding the roughing-the-passer penalty.

"I think it's hard for us to determine right now what roughing the passer is," Harbaugh said. "If that's roughing the passer, I don't know how you're supposed to get Carson Palmer, a 250-pound quarterback down, other than tackle him. He hit him within the strike zone and he took him to the ground."

Lewis has a suggestion to avoid such controversial penalties.

"If every human makes a mistake, why not instant replay the plays that you think was wrong," he said.

Asked again if he thought the penalties cost the Ravens the game, he said, "It's six points. You don't have to assume if they cost it. You don't have to make it seem like I said this. It was six points. How many we lost by?"

A reporter replied five points.

"Absolutely," Lewis said. "Simple."



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