Just when it looked as if the Ravens had broken their losing streak and gotten back on track Sunday, something strange happened. The refs thought it over. Yes, the Ravens can’t seem to catch a break in 2007, and Sunday that was never more evident, as an overturned field goal on the final play of regulation allowed the Cleveland Browns to tie the game at 30, and in overtime, the Ravens defense was no match for Cleveland, as they could not hold on a 3rd down play, allowing the Browns to get into field goal range for game-winning kick. It was one of the most bitter losses ever for the Ravens, who now at 4-6 must take a hard look at 2008, as it appears that 2007 is all but over.
The play in doubt came on the last play of regulation, as the Ravens led 30-27, and Browns kicker Phil Dawson lined up for a 51-yard field goal attempt. The kick hit off the sidebar, and then hit inside the curved part of the structure, and bounced out. After first ruling it was no good, the refs then took another look, and gave Cleveland the correct call of a good field goal to make it 30-30 heading into overtime.
“It was a ruling by one of the officials. The other official informed me that the ball hit the back of the extension of the goal post…,” ref Pete Morelli said. “We determined that was what it struck. Therefore, it made the field goal good.” Last week Dawson was the goat as he was just short on a 52-yard kick that would have tied the score in Pittsburgh on the last play of a 31-28 loss. This time, he was not going to let history repeat itself.
For the Ravens, it’s a bitter loss that now basically means that the 2007 season is nothing more than a time to start taking a look ahead at 2008. They sit at 4-6, and while they seemed to have all the momentum heading into that last kick, the wind was quickly taken out of their sails when Dawson’s boot was ruled good after a look in the replay booth. “It’s crazy, it’s weird,” Ravens receiver Derrick Mason said. “Just when you thought everything that had gone wrong you had overcome it, then there’s another thing. They probably made the right call.”
QB Kyle Boller was brutal at the start, but recovered and had a solid game, throwing for 279 yards. He led the Ravens back after trailing 27-14 in the fourth quarter, and his play led the Ravens to a 30-27 lead with seconds left after Matt Stover converted a field goal. Willis McGahee ran for 102 yards, but the heartbreak on all the Ravens faces was evident as it looked as if someone just ran over their dog by the time they left the field. “I wouldn’t begin to try to explain what happened at the end of the game,” Ravens coach Brian Billick said. “I’ll leave that to those who think they know it better.”