Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, told The NFL Network on Tuesday that Smith did commit a penalty and the officials were correct to overturn the go-ahead 80-yard touchdown with 32 seconds remaining.
"Pass interference is any act that significantly hinders an eligible player's ability to catch a pass," Blandino said. "When we look at this replay, you can see Smith put his left hand in the chest of the defender and pushed him down. We do feel that this is the correct call."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was furious after the play and could be seen telling an official that the call was "embarrassing." Smith explained he was just going for the ball because that's his right as a receiver.
"And when you look at it, reverse the roles: If that was a defender pushing a receiver down, I don't think anybody would be questioning the call," Blandino said. "The rules are the same to both sides of the ball: That is offensive pass interference."
Blandino was asked whether the fall from Bengals safety George Iloka, who was covering Smith on that play, had any effect on the call.
"You can make a case that he may have been off balance," Blandino said. "But the receiver does push to gain that separation and it does create an advantage for the receiver. That's why it's a foul."
The Ravens have been penalized twice this season for offensive pass interference, and Steve Smith drew the flag both times. But the pass interference penalty in Week 3 in Cleveland was declined by the Browns because it came on an incomplete third-down pass.
In the previous three seasons, the Ravens have been penalized for offensive pass interference a total of six times.