It hasn’t been a banner season for NFL officiating.
In what’s seemed like just about every game this season, you could point to at least one — and often times more — example of poor officiating that’s affected the outcome. Monday night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns appeared to be no different.
The Ravens improbably won the game on a walk-off blocked field goal return for a touchdown after Brent Urban was able to get a hand on Travis Coons’ 51-yard field goal attempt. However, replays showed that kick attempt probably should have been a 46-yarder.
As SB Nation pointed out Tuesday morning, Ravens safety Anthony Levine Sr. appeared to be offside on the play. He jumped before the ball was snapped and was able to get back before the Browns jumped or snapped the ball. However, it looks as if Levine was unable to get all the way back, and he appeared to be lined up in the neutral zone as the ball was snapped.
That’s not all, either. On Will Hill’s return for the touchdown, it looks as if he might have stepped out of bounds.
Now, as you can tell in that picture, it’s probably a little too tough to tell for sure whether Hill stepped out. However, that’s not the only issue that arose on the return. There might also have been a block in the back.
It’s admittedly a bit of a stretch to expect all or even any of these three infractions to be called, but it’s not like NFL officiating has earned the benefit of the doubt in the last few weeks, so here we are.
Then again, if offside was called and the Browns got a chance to rekick, it’s not a slam dunk to say they’d take advantage. Because, you know, the Browns.