Ravens Blame Themselves

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The Ravens sure are tired of seeing the yellow flag on the field.

For the second straight game, Baltimore was stung by referees' penalty calls at the most inopportune times.

Two roughing the passer penalties led to two touchdowns and a Patriots win a week ago. This Sunday, an illegal contact call that aided Cincinnati's first touchdown and three defensive penalties on the Bengals' final-minute drive stuck the Ravens with a 17-14 loss.

The difference this week is that the Ravens pointed the finger at themselves instead of the officials.

"I feel that there were some plays where we could have won the game," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It's just a simple fact that we gave the refs the opportunity to take it from us. They had to make a judgment call and they made it."

The Ravens' reactions were a far cry from last week's emotions.

After a 27-21 loss in New England, controversial calls left several Ravens infuriated and questioning whether Tom Brady and quarterbacks in general are being coddled by the NFL. That debate, and whether the Ravens are being singled-out for their aggressive play, raged nationwide.

Not much changed on Sunday, however. The Ravens were flagged for 10 penalties for a total of 76 yards while the Bengals were flagged seven times for 39 yards. The three penalties on the final drive gave the Bengals 30 free yards.

The Ravens didn't get called for any hits on Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, but Baltimore's secondary was flagged four times -- twice for illegal contact and twice for pass interference.

The Bengals' first touchdown would have been avoided had Domonique Foxworth not been flagged for illegal contact on third-and-8. Palmer was sacked on the play, which would have likely forced a punt. Instead, the Bengals got an automatic first down on their own 37-yard line.

Four plays later, Cedric Benson ran 28 yards for a touchdown that put the Bengals up 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

"It's human error," Foxworth said. "You don't get here by making mistakes, and you don't get here by blaming other people and by making excuses. So I don't think any of us are going to do that. That's not how we are here, and we're not going to turn into those type of people now."

It seemed all may be forgotten when Ray Rice's 48-yard touchdown gave the Ravens a four-point lead, but the Bengals gave themselves a shot with the ball and two minutes, 15 seconds remaining.

Cornerback Chris Carr was flagged on the first play of the drive for illegal contact. That was five yards. Then Ray Lewis was hit with an unnecessary roughness call when he launched himself into Chad Ochocinco's head after a pass was incomplete, knocking off the receiver's helmet in the process. That tacked on another 15 yards.

The final penalty on the drive was called on cornerback Frank Walker after a third-down pass fell incomplete. Walker was flagged for defensive pass interference, although the official scoring shows Reed as the guilty party. Walker's penalty gave Cincinnati a first down on the 20-yard line.

The next pass went to Andre Caldwell for a touchdown to win the game for the Bengals.

"I felt like I went around him and batted the ball down, but we haven't watched the film yet, so I could be inaccurate," Walker said. "The officials, they're just calling the game. These games are close; they're close because we let them be close."

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