Ravens fall short in mistake-filled loss to Eagles

Associated Press Modified: September 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm •  Published: September 16, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joe Flacco had the ball on target and a Ravens touchdown in Jacoby Jones' grasp.

Flacco's celebration was short lived.

Jones was whistled for offensive pass interference and the TD was wiped out. What should have been a 10-point lead turned into a field goal two plays later. The penalty and lost touchdown came back to cost Baltimore in a 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

There was some initial confusion — Flacco said the official threw a bean bag instead of a penalty flag — but the play stood.

On replay, the call appeared to be the right one.

The Ravens, though, disagreed and are the latest team fed up with the maddeningly inconsistent calls made by replacement officials.

"The fact we don't have the normal guys out there is real crazy," Flacco said.

Flacco's overthrows and some questionable playcalling late in the game also cost the Ravens a 2-0 start.

Michael Vick scored on a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 left to put the Eagles ahead.

The Ravens had a chance to at least get in position for the winning field goal on the final drive. The Ravens turned to Flacco and the short pass on both third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 instead of using Ray Rice, who rushed for 99 yards, including a 43-yard run, but didn't get the ball on the final drive.

Both attempts were incomplete. Flacco overthrew Rice on fourth down from the Ravens 46, and the Eagles ran out the clock.

Pressed on his playcalling, coach John Harbaugh conceded he could have called a draw. Rice refused to say he should have carried the ball.

"I am not the play caller," Rice said. "I just do what I am asked to do when my name is called."

Rookie kicker Justin Tucker made field goals of 56, 51 and 48 yards for the Ravens, but Flacco couldn't get Baltimore (1-1) in his range in the final minute.

Tucker almost made them winners.

An undrafted rookie out of Texas, Tucker beat out veteran kicker Billy Cundiff in the preseason and has made all six of his field goals in the first two games.

Tucker's 56-yarder at the end of the first half sent the Ravens into the locker room up 17-7. His 51-yarder early in the fourth made it 20-17.

It wasn't enough.

Late in the fourth, after losing their TD, the Ravens appeared to catch a break.

At the Ravens 3, Vick threw incomplete as he was being hit by Haloti Ngata, but the play was ruled a fumble and it was recovered by the Ravens. A replay overturned the call and Vick scored the winner on the next play.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said the fumble should have stood.

"The ball was already coming out, the ball was shaky," he said. "He tried to push the ball. You can't push the ball when the ball is fumbled. You go back to the tuck rule and all these different things. They protect the quarterback so much. For Haloti to make that play, for the ball to be coming out, clearly if you watched the play, you can watch it a thousand times, for the ball to be coming out how it's coming out, how can you overturn that?"

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