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Bengals coach Lewis disagrees with overturned Gresham TD

  • By Marc Sessler
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Call it the Calvin Johnson Rule, call it whatever you wish, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn't buying it.

Lewis, who could teach a course in diplomacy after eight-plus trying seasons in Cincinnati, openly disagreed with game officials who overturned an apparent fourth-quarter touchdown grab by Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham. The play was reversed for breaking the same rule made famous by Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson last season, with officials deciding Gresham didn't possess the ball through the catch.

"It's not even close to the same as the Calvin Johnson situation," Lewis told reporters Monday, one day after the 31-24 loss at Baltimore left Cincinnati in second place behind the Ravens and Steelers in the AFC North.

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The controversial call caused official Twitter handlers for both teams to flip out -- with the normally tight-lipped Bengals suits writing they "got jobbed" (possibly our favorite team tweet in human history).

Lewis wasn't afraid to provide his take on the play.

"Only for clarification. I think Jermaine performed a second act in reaching the ball," he said. "He got two feet clearly down and performed a second act of reaching the ball.

"I don't see how you can overturn it, not being conclusive. With the second act, you're talking about a time differential and how long is long enough. In other words, my feet are down in the field of play on one end of the end zone. I've crossed the plane of the end zone with the ball in possession. Now, how long do I have to hold it before somebody can knock me down? ... It's no big deal. It's over. It's not going to change."

We can't fault Lewis for wearing his heart on his sleeve here. With consecutive loses to the Steelers and Ravens, the Bengals' outrageous 6-2 start has been tempered. To their credit, Cincinnati has kept even its losses close, but this one was too close -- and filled with questions.


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