Not even the end of the Ravens’ 31-30 win against the New England Patriots Sunday night could escape controversy.
Officials ruled that rookie kicker Justin Tucker’s 27-yard field was good although the ball appeared to be very close to flying outside the right upright. Immediately after the kick, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork berated officials and coach Bill Belichick placed his hand on another official just prior to his post-game handshake with Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
Asked if officials should have reviewed the field goal, Wilfork replied, “They have to. You have to. In a game like this, you have to. They ran off the field. So it is what it is. I’m not going to sit here and pick a fight with those guys. They have a job to do, we have a job to do. The only thing we can do is play better and try not to be in those situations. We’ll see how it goes from here.”
Belichick was his usual evasive self about the matter, saying, “That’s not our call. So you should talk to the officials and ask them those questions because obviously I don’t have the answer. I’m just coaching the game and watching it like you are. So you should ask them those questions. I can’t answer them.”
It turns out that field goals are not reviewable. That’s what Mike Pereira, the NFL’s vice president of officiating from 2004 to 2009 who writes a column for Fox Sports, wrote early Monday morning.
Pereira wrote that there is no technology to accurately determine where the ball crosses the top of the upright, which is why the league’s competition committee opted not to include field goals in scenarios that can be reviewed.
Pereira also wrote that Belichick can expect the NFL levy a fine for his contact with an official after the game.