In a game that had a little bit of everything, nobody could have predicted the craziest storyline to come out of the Ravens' 34-20 victory over division rival Cincinnati Bengals would have nothing to do with what occurred on the field, but rather above it.
With 5:04 left to play in the second quarter, the game was stopped when an unauthorized drone was spotted hovering over M&T Bank Stadium. The red-and-green flashing object was shown on the Prime Video broadcast before cutting to a commercial break.
The game resumed play for the remaining portion of the second quarter as well as the third quarter before the drone made another brief appearance in the fourth quarter. Players made their way to the sidelines for another brief administrative stoppage while the flying object vacated the area. Players and coaches on the sideline were looking to the sky and pointing.
The Ravens are no stranger to odd occurrences at their games. Minutes after the second-half kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII, many of the lights inside the New Orleans Superdome went out, causing a 34-minute delay.
"We saw them [the drones] up there. That's a first," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought I'd seen it all with the Super Bowl with the lights going out at the Super Bowl. Now we have drones flying around."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is further investigating the incident thanks to a report filed by the Maryland State Police, troopers and Maryland Stadium Authority security officers, according to Fox45 News Baltimore. Authorities located the pilot, who claims to have been unaware of flight restrictions and did not have a waiver to operate near the stadium, and ordered them to land the drone.
The FAA rules restricts drones from flying at or below 3,000 above ground level (AGL) within a three mile radius of a stadium starting one hour before a game. The ban does not end until one hour after the game and applies to the NFL, college football, MLB, NASCAR and Indy car racing.