Sunday, September 23, 2012
Updated: September 24, 11:37 AM ET
Bill Belichick frustrated by officiating
ESPN.com news services
BALTIMORE -- Frustration emanated from both sidelines in response to the on-field officiating in the New England Patriots' 31-30 Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Twenty-four penalties were accepted, 10 of which New England committed, and a handful of the calls appeared questionable.
At the end of the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick grabbed an official as he was leaving the field in what looked like an attempt to speak with him. The official never broke stride, ignoring Belichick's grasp and continuing off the field.
A well-placed source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Belichick wanted to ask the officiating crew whether Justin Tucker's 27-yard winning field goal, which appeared to go over the right upright, would be reviewed.
As the officials continued to walk past him without acknowledgment, Belichick grabbed the last one to get his attention.
"Bill just wanted an explanation," the source said, "and no one would answer him."
After the game, Belichick was visibly frustrated but deferred comments on the officiating.
"I'm not going to comment about that," he said. "You saw the game. What did we have, 30 penalties called in the game?"
Belichick was asked whether the officiating made it difficult to establish a rhythm within the game.
"It's our job just to go out there and control what we can control," he said.
"You'll have to talk to the officials about the way they called the game, talk to the league about it, I don't know," Belichick later added.
Belichick says he does not believe he will be fined for grabbing the official after the game.
Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was also furious after the game, as he believed Tucker's field goal was worthy of a review.
"They have to (review that)," Wilfork said. "You have to. In a game like this you have to. They ran off the field, so it is what it is. I'm not going to sit here and pick a fight with those guys."
"From my angle, it looked very close," Wilfork said. "I was frustrated at that, but there were a lot of things I was frustrated about."
Shortly after the game ended, former NFL vice president of officiating and Fox Sports contributor Mike Pereira tweeted the following, explaining that the call was not reviewable.
"A FG that goes over the top of an upright is not reviewable because you cannot determine when exactly the ball is directly over the pole," Pereira tweeted.
When asked about the officiating, quarterback Tom Brady said, "I don't have any control over that. I just try to do my job."
New England defensive back Devin McCourty was called for a costly pass-interference penalty on the Ravens' final drive but refrained from calling out the officials.
"It's a football game, and we can't control that. If a flag is thrown, that's something that we can't worry about," McCourty said. "It's a big game, and we wanted to get this win. It's simple, you have to go and execute, and practice and get better."
Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, however, remained angry after the game and took to Twitter to air his grievances with the replacement refs.
"Can someone please tell these f---ing zebras foot locker called and they're needed Back at work !!!! #BreakingPoint," Spikes tweeted.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPNBoston.com's Field Yates and Mike Rodak was used in this report.