Referee explains non-calls that helped Ravens

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Baltimore Ravens were aided by a couple of non-calls in Saturday afternoon's 13-10 playoff victory over the Tennessee Titans at LP Field.

On a third-and-2 play early in what turned out to be the winning drive, the play clock hit zero for two seconds before the Ravens snapped the ball. Joe Flacco hit tight end Todd Heap up the seam for a 23-yard gain to the Titans' 45-yard line.

But the officials didn't call delay of game.

"The back judge [Bob Lawing] is responsible for that," referee Terry McAulay said. "He has the clock. When it hits zero [on the play clock], which is high here [on the scoreboards], he goes to the ball.

"So there is going to be a natural delay from zero to getting to the ball. And when he gets to the ball, if it is being snapped, we don't call it. So there can be a natural delay."

McAulay explained that is not a reviewable play. Matt Stover eventually ended the drive with a 43-yard field goal inside the final minute.

At least some Titans believed Flacco, in a shotgun formation, had stepped out of the back of the end zone on a third down play from the Ravens' 1-yard line. A safety would have cut the Ravens' lead to 10-9 and given the Titans the ball.

"That was me," McAulay said of the official responsible for making that call. "In my opinion, he did not step on the line. There was green, or whatever color was between the end line and his foot."

The Ravens punted away, and the Titans drove for a game-tying 27-yard field goal.