PHILADELPHIA -- You couldn't blame the replacement refs for this one.
Actually, you couldn't blame the real refs either.
The flag on Ramses Barden for offensive pass interference late in the fourth quarter had to be thrown.
Barden blatantly grabbed Eagles corner Nnamdi Asomugha on a pass thrown down the left sideline with less than 20 seconds to play in Sunday night's 19-17 Giants' loss.
Barden was flagged for pass interference on the incompletion, pushing the Giants back to their own 36 yard line.
"I tried to make a play," Barden said afterward.
As it turned out, he made a play that buried the Giants.
Instead of having a manageable 44-yard field-goal attempt to win the game, Lawrence Tynes was forced to kick from 54 yards after Barden's penalty. Tynes missed his first attempt and -- after an Andy Reid timeout gave him another shot -- he missed his second attempt.
After the game, Barden was upset over the call.
"You hate when it comes down to that," Barden said. "I guess I didn't do enough; I just need to do more."
Actually, Barden needed to do less.
He wrapped his hand around Asomugha's chest and wrapped his other hand around the corner's face mask, leaving the referee no choice but to flag him.
Barden hadn't seen a replay before he spoke with reporters in the locker room. But he seemed to think that Asomugha should have been flagged for defensive pass interference on the play.
"I thought it was on him," Barden said. "But what happens, happens. It's done."
Earlier in the Giants' final drive, Barden actually helped put the team in scoring position by drawing two pass-interference penalties -- on a fourth-and-1 and 3rd-and-10 -- to pick up a total of 28 yards.
But he drew the wrong kind of flag when it mattered most.
"It was tough," Barden said of the offensive pass interference. "He had decent position; I'm trying to make a play (and) I guess I got my arm on him."
To be fair, Eli Manning put Barden in a tough spot by putting the ball where he did. Tom Coughlin hinted that Manning had other -- more manageable -- options on the play.
But he went to Barden, and Barden got too much of Asomugha.
Barden was asked afterward how tough it was to leave Philadelphia with a loss when the game seemed so winnable.
"You have no idea," he said. "It's a tough one to swallow but we get another shot at them again."
Barden finished with two catches for 36 yards, a far cry from the nine-catch, 138-yard performance he had in Carolina last week.
When asked if he was disappointed that he didn't see the ball more against Philly, he responded: "I don't work like that," he said. " ... If the ball's not coming my way I'm going to block and do what I can to help the team win. I don't play that 'Throw me the ball' stuff."