My colleague Chris Brown wrote a great article yesterday on the phantom calls or non calls that have gone against the Baltimore Ravens all season long. Look the Ravens are 4-8 for multiple reasons. Some of it has to do with injuries and some of it has to do with just a complete lack of execution which has resulted in the Ravens being unable to put a solid game together for 60 minutes all season.
But to expand a little bit on what Chris wrote, the following statistic is a bit shocking to me. Almost every morning, I read BaltimoreRavens.com's daily articles called Late For Work. They do a great job over there and I so happened to read the following statistic.
According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Ravens opponents only have one penalty called against them in 454 pass attempts when playing Baltimore which is just crazy. And not one holding penalty has been called against a Ravens opponent in the last 10 games.
Add to that, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun noted that Ravens opponents on offense have been penalized for holding only nine times this season. Look, I know the Ravens have struggled in the pass rushing department all year especially since outside linebacker Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles in week 1, but something just doesn't add up.
We are led to believe by referees that all season long in 454 pass attempts, opposing offensive linemen playing the Ravens have been perfect in pass protection in all but one play.
We are led to believe that offensive linemen don't hold Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil who is the same guy who set the Ravens franchise record for sacks with 17 last season.
We are led to believe that offensive linemen don't hold Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams who is pretty much a walking double team.
I don't think these statistics are possible without some sort of intention and I don't think that is possible to achieve against any NFL team over the course of 12 games. The Ravens need to do an investigation about these referees with or without the help of the NFL.
According to ProFootballReference.com, NFL teams as a whole on average this season commit 38.8 offensive holding penalties a week and the Ravens opponents have only gotten nine when facing Baltimore all season?
The Ravens have committed 90 penalties so far this season which is tied for the seventh most in the NFL. However, the holding penalty statistics below via FootballDataBase.com should raise more questions about the officials during Ravens games this season.
The Ravens this season have played eight games against teams that rank in the top nine in offensive holding penalties.
- San Diego Chargers (20 offensive holding penalties- tied for second most in the NFL)
- Miami Dolphins (18 offensive holding penalties-tied for the fourth most in the NFL)
- San Francisco 49ers (14 offensive holding penalties-tied for seventh most in the NFL)
- Cincinnati Bengals (14 offensive holding penalties-tied for seventh most in the NFL)
- Cleveland Browns (14 offensive holding penalties-tied for seventh most in the NFL)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (13 offensive holding penalties-tied for eighth most in the NFL)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (12 offensive holding penalties-tied for ninth most in the NFL)
So seven of the Ravens opponents rank in the top nine in offensive holding penalties committed in the NFL but all of the sudden they stop holding when playing Baltimore? Really?
Wins and losses happen all the time. The Ravens are not going to be great every year. But, I don't know anyone who can look at those numbers in favor of Ravens opponents and say with the straight face that those are accurate in terms of opposing offenses being completely flawless. I don't think it is.
Again, statistics like those would look strange for any NFL team. I don't know if referees are taking advantage of the Ravens because the team is having a down year and they feel like they can be lazy with what they call on the field I don't know. All I know is, at the end of this season, the NFL or the referees themselves better have a good explanation for the lack of holding penalties called against Ravens opponents.