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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

John Harbaugh: Chris Johnson’s forward progress was stopped on 62-yard run

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The Baltimore Ravens were on the wrong end of several questionable calls Monday night, the most notable of which may have been Chris Johnson’s 62-yard run late in the third quarter. If you ask John Harbaugh, the play should have been whistled dead after Johnson gained four yards.

Johnson was taken down on a short first-down run and landed on top of Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams. His knee or elbow never touched the ground, but it appeared the Arizona Cardinals back had given up on the play. When Johnson realized no whistle had blown, he got up and scampered another 58 yards.

Harbaugh felt Johnson’s forward progress was clearly stopped.

“The forward progress was stopped,” he said, via Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com. “If you hit him in that situation, then you’re going to get fined and stopped. For three seconds it was stopped. He had called himself down and was sitting there. We shouldn’t hit him; it would have been a dangerous play.”

The 62-yard run set up a field goal that gave the Cardinals a 20-10 lead.

I tend to agree with Harbaugh. The NFL has placed more emphasis on flagging late hits this season, and it certainly appeared that Johnson had given up on the play and was not moving forward. He deserves credit for having the awareness to get up and keep running, but officials have to blow the whistle if they don’t want guys flying in and “finishing off” plays.

The Ravens official website published an entire story on questionable calls from the 26-18 loss, one of which was this illegal formation penalty that should not have been called. Harbaugh also said Baltimore’s headset communications mysteriously went out on the final drive of the game.

There are plenty of reasons the Ravens are off to a surprising 1-6 start. The referees did them no favors in Arizona.



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