It was the play everyone was talking about.
On the Ravens' opening drive during this week's edition of Monday Night Football, guard John Urschel was flagged for an illegal formation. However, the replays clearly showed that Urschel established communication with the referee and made it apparent that he was eligible on the play.
Here is the play in question.
Here is the much-discussed part, in which the journal-published mathematician clearly makes his eligibilty known to the official.
By the way... What more does an OL have to do to report? Look at Urschel. pic.twitter.com/OP9ZxDtjX3
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 27, 2015
So how exactly could such a snafu occur?
The referee was distracted, says the league's head of officiating Dean Blandino.
"What the referee was actually doing at that moment, he was correcting a number from a foul on the previous play, and he just didn't recognize [No.] 64 signaling him. We didn't recognize that he reported, and that's why the penalty was called."
The league's officiating head honcho was quick to note that Urschel followed correct protocol, establishing his eligibility with the official on the field by bringing attention to himself and his number. Said Blandino, "It's important that the referee recognizes that, and it's important that the player gets the visual signal."
There's no doubt that this call (and some other questionable ones) certainly did the Ravens in. For once, I think we are justified in complaining about the refs. Fans and coach alike were both united on this one, as you can almost hear the disdain in Harbaugh's voice.
It seems like the Ravens simply can't come out on the right side of an illegal formation call.
While the Ravens' punishment was a loss, Ronald Tobert, the referee in question, won't be receiving any discipline for this call. For a team that is struggling to churn out a win on a fair playing the field, the last thing they need is bad officiating.