A night of pushing, shoving and questionable calls in Baltimore ended the only way possible: with controversy.
The Baltimore Ravens beat the New England Patriots 31-30 on a last-second field goal that didn't necessarily look like a last-second field goal. Justin Tucker's kick seemed to go over the upright as time expired and immediately was called good.
The NFL warned teams this past week about their behavior toward replacement officials, so it's safe to say Belichick will be fined for his grab. Asked after the game if he expected a fine, Belichick simply said, "No."
"I'm not going to comment on that. You saw the game," Belichick said of the postgame scene. Pressed further, he said: "Talk to the officials about the way they called the game." The question is how much longer the replacement officials will be around.
NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported Monday on "NFL AM" that the NFL will review the incident.
Sunday night's game was very physical. A ton of penalties were called, and plenty more were ignored. A handful of phantom penalties also were called. There was a lot of post-play shoving. Like Monday night's game in Atlanta, it all felt a little out of control.
The NBC crew of Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels called the situation "ridiculous" at one point. The Baltimore crowd, upset by a call that extended New England's final drive, had the most intense, expletive-filled chant we've ever heard.
The final sequence will overshadow a brilliant comeback by the Ravens. The Patriots' offense was dominant for most of the night, then shut down in the fourth quarter. Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith led the Ravens to 10 points in the final five minutes to pull off the win. We'll always think of this night when we think about Torrey Smith, who played after his 19-year-old brother died Saturday night.
It was a great night of football. A classic of this young season. That makes it all the more disappointing that the officiating distracted so much from the product on the field.