It's becoming a recurring theme each week this NFL
season. Replacement officials botch a few calls that have an impact on the
outcome of certain games, and then players gripe about the lack of quality in
Ray Lewis is the most recent example of a player taking
issue with the replacement refs after the Ravens lost by one point to the Eagles on Sunday.
Every game has a few questionable calls no matter who is officiating,
which Lewis acknowledged after the loss, but one call in particular was
crucial to the outcome in the Pro Bowl linebacker's eyes.
With the Eagles inside the Ravens' three-yard line and looking
for the go-ahead touchdown, Haloti Ngata forced a strip-sack of
Eagles quarterback Mike Vick — or so he thought. Baltimore recovered the ball
at the one-yard line and was celebrating what the Ravens thought was a 23-17 win.
Instead, the replay booth called for a review and ultimately determined that
Vick's hand was coming forward on the pass, overturning the call and giving the
ball back to Philadelphia. Vick ran the ball up the gut on the very next play,
giving Philly the 24-23 lead and ultimately the win.
call, which appears to be the right one upon further review, wasn't the only play that cost
Baltimore the game Sunday, but Lewis still said those types of
mistakes are hurting the image and reputation of the NFL.
"The game is played the way the game is played, but
there's some serious calls the refs missed," Lewis said in the locker room,
according to WNST.net. "And that, for our league to be what it is,
we have to correct that. "
Lewis knows that missed calls are
taking place in games all around the league, including a critical no-call on a
Steven Jackson touchdown in the Rams win,
and he's making a plea to the league to get the regular referees back on the
"I just know across the
league teams and the league are being affected by it. It's not just this
game, it's all across the league," Lewis said. "And so if they want
the league to have the same reputation it's always had, they'll address the
problem. Get the regular referees in here and let the games play
themselves out. We already have controversy enough with the regular refs
calling the plays."
Lewis spent almost three minutes after Sunday's game ranting
about the replacement officials. Check out the interview in the video below.