The excitement from the biggest play of Baltimore's season was short-lived.
Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. caught an 80-yard game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute Sunday against the Bengals, but an offensive pass interference call wiped the play off the board and led to Baltimore's 27-24 loss.
The penalty call was controversial, but the Ravens weren't interested in using it as an excuse after falling to the division rival.
"You hope that you don't allow plays like that to dictate or be the determination of a win or a loss," Smith said. "It happened. Not disappointed, not upset, not frustrated, just exhausted and looking forward to the chance to play next week."
On the play, Smith was defended by safety George Iloka and the two players squared up to make a play on the heave from Flacco that traveled about 60 yards in the air. Smith had his right arm on Iloka's jersey, and the safety fell back as Smith made the catch.
The official immediately threw the flag on Smith for pushing off Iloka.
"You got to admit, offensive pass interference, that's a pretty [gutsy] call to call," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "That's a pretty [gutsy] call considering the situation."
"I really don't know and I haven't seen the play up close to where I could really see what happened," Flacco added. "I threw it and just kind of hung out where I was at and then started running down the field once he caught it. I didn't see anything. I couldn't really see much – just two guys back pedaling and a guy came down, but I couldn't really see much."
During the television broadcast, the CBS crew debated whether the flag was justified. Color analyst Trent Green suggested Iloka "flopped" after watching the replay.
Head Coach John Harbaugh did not comment on the penalty call.
"I'm not allowed to answer that question," he said.
If the touchdown had stood, the Ravens likely would have come away with the victory. The touchdown (and ensuing extra point) would have given them a four-point lead with 47 seconds left in the half.
"Obviously if that's a touchdown, then we win the game," Flacco said. "But there were plenty of other things that happened throughout the course of the game."
"It is what it is, man. They called a penalty," linebacker Daryl Smith added. "It's a penalty. We move on."
Several players echoed Smith's attitude that they have to put the call and the loss behind them and shift their focus to next week's primetime matchup with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We're over it," Suggs said. "We're on to Pittsburgh."