Yellow flags littered M&T Bank Stadium in Sunday's 34-33 loss to the San Diego Chargers, and Head Coach John Harbaugh isn't happy about seeing his team penalized so often and in critical situations.
The Ravens were penalized 14 times for 98 yards. The Chargers were also flagged eight times for 91 yards.
"It was too many penalties," Harbaugh said. "No question about that."
The most damaging penalty for the Ravens was a 23-yard defensive pass interference call on cornerback Anthony Levine. Levine ran step-for-step with receiver Eddie Royal and leapt to knock the pass away.
A flag came in as the referees said Levine interfered with Royal on the play in the end zone. That gave the Chargers the ball on the 1-yard line and they scored the go-ahead, game-winning touchdown on the next play
"My understanding is that both players, the offensive and defensive player, are supposed to have an opportunity to go make a play on the ball," Harbaugh said. "I saw a corner trying to make a play on the ball with a forearm in his chest and clavicle area being held down, not allowed to jump for the ball.
"That's a disappointing situation. I think a corner should be given the chance to defend, and I know he wasn't given a chance to defend on that play. That's not fair to the player. Players should be the guys determining the outcome of the game in a situation like that, without question."
It looked like both players were just competing for the same pass, but the critical call went in the Chargers' favor.
"I saw the ball, I went for the ball," Levine said. "I wasn't even playing him anymore – I played the ball. [The referee] made the call and I've got to learn from it."
It's the second time this year the Ravens have had a critical late-game interference call go against them. An offensive pass interference call on Steve Smith Sr. wiped what may have been a game-winning touchdown off the board in Cincinnati.
Calls did go both ways on Sunday, however. The Chargers were flagged for defensive pass interference three times earlier in the game.
And that one penalty wasn't the only one that hurt the Ravens.
On offense, an illegal use of hands (to the face) penalty on Eugene Monroe wiped out an 11-yard gain in the red zone that would have put the Ravens at the Chargers' 5. They instead were backed up and settled for one of four field goals.
The majority of the penalties came on defense, however. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil was flagged three times for lining up in the neutral zone, once negating his own sack. Safety Matt Elam was flagged for holding twice. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee gave up a free first down by jumping offsides.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was called for hands to the face, helping the Chargers get in field-goal range before the end of the first half. A holding call on linebacker Daryl Smith on San Diego's next-to-last drive kept the defense on the field after what looked to be a third-down incompletion. The Chargers scored a touchdown on the next play.
"You can't do that," Dumervil said. "We made some good plays, and there's some things you wish you could take back."
But the big penalty was the Levine pass interference. Suggs was asked how frustrating it is when penalties at the end of games decide the outcome.
"It's extremely frustrating," he said. "We know better. Us, as the Baltimore Ravens, we never want to leave it in the hands of the refs."