Ref explains controversial calls vs. Rams

ST. LOUIS -- Two costly and controversial penalties hurt the Rams' cause when St. Louis was rallying in the fourth quarter against Arizona.

Referee Bill Leavy and crew penalized Rams tackle Adam Goldberg for unnecessary roughness after Marc Bulger threw incomplete on first-and-10 from the Arizona 13 with about 4 minutes remaining. The call mystified Goldberg, who said he was merely blocking his man as usual.

"He knocked the defender down well after the pass was released and in my judgment, unnecessarily hit a player after the ball had been gone," referee Bill Leavy told pool reporter Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Goldberg suggested he couldn't know whether the ball had been thrown because his back was to the quarterback. In his mind, letting up might have put Bulger in danger of a sack. The penalty moved back the Rams 15 yards to the 28.

The drive ended with Bulger throwing incomplete to Donnie Avery on fourth-and-4 from the Arizona 7. Replays appeared to show contact between Avery and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

"My field judge said that the contact was incidental," Leavy told Thomas. "No restrictive contact (was made) and not enough to call a foul."