As the Buffalo Bills ran out the clock on their 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Bills quarterback EJ Manuel prepared to take a knee. Moments later, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was flagged for unnecessary roughness after making illegal contact with Manuel.
On Wednesday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino, addressed the play.
"Normally the quarterback will take the snap, and immediately take a knee," Blandino explained. "But you can see, there's 51 seconds left, and Buffalo was trying to milk the clock so they wouldn't have to snap the ball again. Manuel takes the snap, backs up a little bit, then gets hit by Suggs."
Blandino explained that the initial contact was legal, but official Jerome Boger called the penalty because of what happened next.
"Watch the right arm of Suggs rake the face of the quarterback and knock his helmet off," Blandino illustrated. "That is what the referee called unnecessary roughness and why Suggs was flagged."
For his part, Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn't blame Suggs. According to the team's official website, Harbaugh actually approved of the hit.
"I'm just disappointed Terrell wasn't able to cause a fumble there," Harbaugh said. "He definitely did the right thing in that situation."