The Atlanta Falcons lost, once again, and they deserved to lose, but the refs still royally screwed them over. There were numerous plays that they completely shanked and the worst one was the intentional grounding call against Desmond Ridder right before the end of the first half.
Ridder was trying to throw the ball away but he was hit by the defender, causing the ball to fly out of bounds, almost sideways from where Ridder was throwing it.
Atlanta Falcons get a lame explanation from Bill Vinovich on intentional grounding flag
The Atlanta Falcons failed to score a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Eve. They did have every opportunity to score six points and they failed to do so due to mistakes, and the mistakes of the officials.
Bill Vinovich, a longtime NFL referee, called Desmond Ridder for intentional grounding despite the fact that Desmond was clearly hit while throwing, meaning it wasn’t a penalty.
After the game, Vinovich was interviewed, and here is what he said:
It is a sorry excuse for what was a blatant mistake. Maybe one day these refs and the NFL will actually admit to wrongdoing instead of trying to play it off.
Looking at the NFL’s official rulebook, this is what it says about when intentional grounding SHOULD NOT be called:
"the passer initiates his passing motion toward an eligible receiver and then is significantly affected by physical contact from a defensive player that causes the pass to land in an area that is not in the direction and vicinity of an eligible receiver; orthe passer is out of the pocket, and his passing motion is significantly affected by physical contact from a defensive player that causes the ball to land short of the line of scrimmage."
Considering that there was a defender clearly on him and tackling him, I am pretty darn sure that it impacted his ability to throw the ball back to the line of scrimmage when he was out of the pocket.
Bill Vinovich lost all common sense and logic when he threw the flag. If there is a defender grabbing you while you throw and the ball comes out flying sideways and wobbly, I am pretty sure the Ravens player hindered his ability to throw. Also pretty sure that Ridder didn’t purposefully throw a duck and a sideways pass out of bounds.
Whatever though, the Falcons did not deserve to win that game but it is still so frustrating to see refs and the NFL ignore these awful calls. Grady Jarrett’s “roughing the passer” was bad enough, we didn’t need this to happen as well. We also haven’t even pointed out the holding on Cordarrelle Patterson’s touchdown run and the official’s reluctance to throw flags on clear holds by the Ravens.