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Ravens question officiating

Harbaugh: Brady got preferential treatment

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / October 6, 2009

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FOXBOROUGH - Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said yesterday he planned to submit film to the NFL office in New York of what he believes were questionable calls in the Ravens’ 27-21 loss to the Patriots Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Harbaugh suggested Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got preferential treatment from the officiating crew over his own quarterback, Joe Flacco.

The Ravens were penalized twice for roughing the passer, each one helping set up a New England touchdown in the first half. The first went against lineman Haloti Ngata (for contact to the head), and the second went against linebacker Terrell Suggs (for contact to the knees).

The Patriots were credited with 10 quarterback hits and a pair of sacks, both by Mike Wright, who was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet blow on Flacco. Harbaugh said Flacco “got hit [six] different times hard, and there was one call.’’

“Tom didn’t get hit five times,’’ said Harbaugh. “We want him to be hit more than he was hit, but when he did sort of get hit, it was called. That goes to the credibility of the whole thing.’’

The officiating crew, led by referee Ron Winter, called 14 penalties for 126 yards. The Ravens had nine penalties for 85 yards, including a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against Harbaugh with 13:33 left in the third quarter. The Patriots were called for five penalties for 41 yards.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged yesterday he had apprised his team that the officials working Sunday had a reputation for calling a tight game.

“I think the writing’s on the wall there, that they call them pretty tight,’’ Belichick said. “Maybe every game they happen to have there are just more penalties, I don’t know. To basically be the top penalty-calling crew over the last three years tells me the game is going to be [called] tight. So yeah, I did mention that to the team and they did call it tight.’’

Linebacker Ray Lewis didn’t hold back after the loss. “It’s embarrassing to the game,’’ he said. “Did that win or lose the game? No, but it got them 14 points. A personal foul and he isn’t even touched. He’s a man. They can be hit, just like us. We stop them and then you look back and see a flag or a personal foul and Tom Brady is laughing. It wasn’t no personal foul if he’s still smiling.’’

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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