Everyone at the bar I was at yesterday thought it was a fumble. Once we saw the replay though, it was clear we were wrong.
The bottom line is that you cannot control what the officials call.
There will ALWAYS be bad calls in NFL games.
What was in our control with the game in our hands was that absolute clusterfuck of a final drive by our offense...amateur hour by Cam/John/Joe at it's finest.
If Vick is standing in the pocket, gets hit in the back as he throws and the ball flies out sideways (but forward enough to be a forward pass) and doesn't get to the LOS, is that intentional grounding? A play we all typically see 1 or 2 times a game?
When a guy is being hit, the force of the hit can COMPLETELY change the trajectory of the throw. You can't call that intentional grounding.
I have yet to talk to another Ravens fan who didn't see it as intentional grounding. Vick's actions were fully in accord with the NFL rulebook definition of intentional grounding:
Intentional grounding will be called when a passer, facing an imminent loss of yardage due to pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass without a realistic chance of completion. Intentional grounding will not be called when a passer, while out of the pocket and facing an imminent loss of yardage, throws a pass that lands at or beyond the line of scrimmage, even if no offensive player(s) have a realistic chance to catch the ball (including if the ball lands out of bounds over the sideline or end line).
This wasn't even close call. I was not a bit surprised that the fumble call was reversed, but fully expected to see the intentional grounding call made after the review.
Even yesterday, the Ravens could have gone down the field to score the winning field goal with 1:42 remaining but Mr. Flacco was too inaccurate on that drive and missed a couple of fairly easy throws.
That doesn't totally forgive the replacements for helping put the Ravens in that position. They missed a blatant drag down PI call on a long pass to Torrie Smith that certainly looked like catchable for a big gain or a TD but the non call stopped the drive. Add to that the phony fumble/intentional grounding non call, the push off called on Jones' would-be TD catch when the defender had his hands on him the last 10 yards, and the illegal contact called when the ball was clearly in the air and should have been PI, can very definitely put a team in an offensive funk that is tough to get out of.
But folks i implore you to search your memories. The mistakes the replacements are making now are nothing like the horrendous ticky tack calls or blatant non calls made precisely at the most critical time in the game that have directly affected the outcome of the contest by the likes of regulars Anderson, Carey, Coleman, and Winter and backed up by the NFL's yes man Mr. Perierra.
Some of the calls and non calls by the "regulars" have been so bad they made me consider the question: "Is the NFL actually fixing games?"
So far the mistakes made by the replacements look to be from inexperience. For the most part it looks like they are trying to stay out of the business of really affecting a game and let the players play. That of course is a fine line.
I think we need more of a body of work to look at for the "replacements", but some of these "regulars" have screwed up enough in the most questionable fashion as to affect the integrity of the game. They need not return if and when the strike is resolved imhao.
And again, if Flacco for instance takes a 7 step drop that takes him 10 yards past the LOS, and gets hit while throwing the ball and the ball only goes3 or 4 yards forward, they don't call that intentional grounding because the hit impacted where the ball went.