Referees Give No Explanation for No-Calls on Ravens' Final Drive

WR Willie Snead IV takes a hit while attempting to make the final play of the game

The Ravens came out on the short side of two non-calls on their final comeback drive attempt in a 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he didn't get an explanation on either one of them.

The first was after Lamar Jackson completed a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Willie Snead IV down the middle of the field, putting the Ravens at the 23-yard line and in range for a go-ahead touchdown. There was 17 seconds remaining when Snead was tackled.

Back near the line of scrimmage, veteran Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward laid on the ground with what appeared to be a leg injury. At that point, the whistle should have been blown and the clock stopped.

With no timeouts, Jackson rushed his teammates down the field to try to spike the ball and stop the clock. Officials, however, didn't blow their whistles until just as Jackson took the snap.

Harbaugh called the official over to talk about adding time back on the clock for the late injury whistle. CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz guessed that about "five or six seconds" would be added and CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore agreed, saying "there's definitely more than the eight [seconds] we're looking at right now."

However, no time was added, which essentially meant the Ravens would not have enough time for two shots at the end zone.

"I asked about the time, I got no answer on that," Harbaugh said. "I think they said the time was fine."

The Ravens tried a quick pass to the sideline but Jackson was hit as he threw and it was incomplete. On the next play, Jackson tried to fire a pass down the seam to Snead for what would have been a game-winning touchdown. And again, there were questions about a no-call.

Replays show that Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick made contact with Snead a hair early and, more obviously, hit Snead in the helmet with his shoulder. It was a huge collision inside the end zone.

"As far as the last play – the shoulder to the helmet – no [explanation]," Harbaugh said. "They didn't say a word about it. They just ran off the field." 

The referees were not shy about throwing flags for defensive pass interference on Sunday. The Ravens were penalized for it three times and flagged nine times for 110 yards overall compared to three penalties for 30 yards on Pittsburgh.

"It could have gone either way, to be honest," Snead said. "When I got hit, it just happened so quick. As soon as the ball touched my hands, I got hit. So, it's like, you never know. I didn't know how he hit me, seriously, but I got hit in the head. So, I'll just leave it at that."

Snead finished with a team-high five catches and 106 yards on seven targets. He made several huge plays and came very close to making one more.

"I feel for him a little bit, because I think that play would've been made in the end zone to win the game, and it would've been historic," Harbaugh said. "You just want to see your players protected. You want to see them protected just like the rules say they should be."

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