Marvin Lewis: 'Phantom call' cost Bengals on Sunday


The Bengals are not happy with the penalty that set up the Cardinals' game-winning field goal Sunday night.

With less than 10 seconds to play, the Cardinals were preparing for a clock-stopping QB spike that would allow kicker Chandler Catanzaro to attempt a 47-yard field goal in a 31-31 game. Arizona linemen jumped before the subsequent snap, but head official Terry McAulay announced Cincinnati defensive tackle Domata Peko had been simulating a snap call.

The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty marched the Cardinals 15 yards downfield and set up a 32-yard chip shot by Catanzaro for the win. After the game, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis labeled the penalty a "phantom call".

"I trust what our player did and said," Lewis said, per "He's alerting a run and not anything to do with what they're saying.

"I don't see how they make that call at that point in the game like that. I trust our guy to be honest with me."

Peko, a 10-year veteran, contended that he was yelling, "Get set, get set, get set!" and Cardinals linemen -- and apparently game officials -- believed he had simulated the snap count to fool Arizona.

"I don't know if 'set' sounds like 'hike' to them," Peko said. "I don't know if it was the way I said it quicker like, 'Get set!' with the bass in my voice or whatever. I don't know."

Cardinals players weren't buying it.

"It was real obvious," Palmer said. "The ref was right there. They obviously said the snap count, and that's a 15-yarder."

"When I was down in the bunch (formation), they were very loud and demonstrative with their shifts," said Larry Fitzgerald. "The line shifts like that, it sounded like a cadence. I'm just glad that they finally caught it later in the game. Peko is a veteran. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve."

Had the play been ruled a false start, a 10-second runoff would have sent the game into overtime. This was a huge call.