Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones catches an apparent touchdown… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
PHILADELPHIA — — After jockeying with Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to establish position in the corner of the end zone, Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones was convinced he had completed a legal, acrobatic touchdown catch.
The replacement officials thought otherwise, nullifying the 25-yard touchdown by flagging Jones for offensive pass interference in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 24-23 loss Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Jones and the Ravens disagreed with the call, which took away a touchdown that would have built a 27-17 lead with 5:29 to play. They thought the jostling should have been allowed.
"It was in the heat of the game," Jones said. "In their eyes, they see it as pass interference. In my eyes, it wasn't. They got the flag."
When asked if the game was called properly, Jones held back his comments rather than risk a potential fine from the NFL for criticizing the officiating.
"What I want to say, I can't," Jones said.
The Ravens settled for a 48-yard Justin Tucker field goal and a short-lived 23-17 lead soon trumped by Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's game-winning touchdown run.
"I think those guys were on us tight like that all game, and there was a lot of holding and grabbing going on out there," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "I might sound like a little bit of a baby here, but for them to make the call, I think was a little crazy."
Jones and Flacco connected on a 21-yard touchdown in the first quarter where he ran past Asomugha's press coverage attempt. It's Jones' first touchdown since joining the Ravens.
"Joe looked at me and signaled what route to run," Jones said. "Joe threw a perfect ball. He threads the needle."
Leach calls Eagles 'dirty'
It was a chippy game Sunday with Ravens cornerback Cary Williams and Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson exchanging punches during a brief scuffle.
Offensive guard Marshal Yanda and Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins were both called for offsetting personal fouls in the first quarter after All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach's 5-yard touchdown run, his first as a Raven.
Then Leach got into a confrontation with Eagles safety Kurt Coleman.
"They take a couple of shots, that's just how they're coached," said Leach. "They play dirty. They take shots after the play, a lot of dirty stuff after plays. We weren't going to back down. We weren't going to take that. Anytime someone thinks they're a bully, you got to step up or they'll keep doing it."
Williams and Jackson were penalized for offsetting personal fouls in the first half.
"He threw the first punch," Williams said. "I got to learn to keep my head. I can't let my emotions get the best of me. I think we both needed to do that. We knew it was a big game, it was a lot at stake. I can't allow my emotions to control me and allow me to make irrational decisions."
In the third quarter, running back Ray Rice was assessed a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.
No players were ejected from the game.
"If you challenge us, we're going to challenge you back, we're going to try to take it out on your quarterback," Jenkins said. "We like people coming at us and giving us their best shot because we're not backing down on anybody."
Tucker hits three field goals
Rookie kicker Justin Tucker provided a serious scoring asset, converting all three of his field goals.
Tucker connected from 56, 51 and 48 yards. His 56-yarder matched the longest in team history.
"I'm pleased with my overall performance, but I'm not into moral victories," Tucker said. "I was happy with the way I stuck the ball. I'm pleased with the microcosm of the event that I had with the 56-yard field goal, but ultimately I would have rather won the game. I think I can hit from the 60's on a really good day."
The Ravens tried to get Tucker into position for a possible game-winning field goal but turned it over on downs at their own 46-yard line in the final minute.
How close did Tucker need to be to have a chance at hitting a game-winning kick?
"It's hard to say," Tucker said. "If they want to trot me out from whatever distance, I'll hit it the same way I always do."
Starting outside linebacker Paul Kruger was scratched for Sunday's game after his sore back didn't respond fast enough.
Kruger ran very stiffly Friday. All along, he was expected to be a game-time decision.
"I just wasn't ready," Kruger said. "I'll be ready for next week for sure."
The Ravens also scratched wide receiver LaQuan Williams, offensive tackle Jah Reid (strained right calf), defensive linemen Bryan Hall and DeAngelo Tyson, tight end Billy Bajema and cornerback Asa Jackson.
Upshaw gets first start
Rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw started at rush outside linebacker in place of Kruger for his first NFL start. He registered six tackles, one for a loss.