FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn't feel like a trip to the Super Bowl was taken away from the Ravens, but he was "surprised" that the officials didn't review Lee Evans' fourth-quarter drop in the end zone.
It looked like the Ravens had taken the lead in the AFC Championship Game when Evans had the ball in his hands in the end zone. But Evans had the ball stripped away by undrafted rookie Sterling Moore with 27 seconds remaining.
After Billy Cundiff's missed 32-yard field goal finished off a 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots, some Ravens wondered whether Evans had possession of the ball and both feet down before he lost the ball. A touchdown would have given the Ravens a 27-23 lead.
Because it was under two minutes, it becomes the officials' call whether to review the play.
"I tried to get [the officials'] attention and thought it would be looked at," Harbaugh said. "I thought they would have at least looked at it. I was surprised that they didn't look at it. Obviously, in that situation, I thought they would have looked at it."
Harbaugh said he never received an explanation from referee Alberto Riveron or any of his crew. League rules say the receiver must have both feet or any part of his body other than his hands on the ground before losing control of the ball. Replays suggest Evans lost his grasp of the ball before his second foot was down.
“Honestly, the most disappointing part of all this ... that I feel personally that I let everybody down," a visibly emotional Evans told The Baltimore Sun. "This is the greatest team that I’ve been on, and I feel like I let everybody down. Yeah, it’s on my shoulders. I think Ray gave a good message coming in here. It’s hard to sit here and accept how and why things happened, but it’s the reality of it. It’s as tough as it gets.”
Asked if he was surprised that the play wasn't reviewed, Evans said, “No, not really. Obviously, they didn’t feel like it was close enough to being reviewed.”