Ravens punt early in 4th quarter
No one is talking about this -- am I the only one who saw it?
At the beginning of the 4th quarter (14:42), the Ravens punt. The return man calls for the fair catch, but a Giant bumps into him, and the ball takes a funny bounce. Brendan Ayanbadejo grabs the ball at about the 20 and starts a return, but the refs whistle it dead. Giants ball at the 20 or 21.
That should have been Ravens ball! The ball takes a funny bounce because it bounced off the leg of one of the Giants players.
Daren Stone (#39) is the Ravens gunner split out wide right in the punt formation. The Giant over him at the line of scrimmage is I think #25. (I never got a clear look at the number on this guy, but I think it's 25: I'm gonna write this as if I'm sure.) Stone beats him inside off the LOS, but gets blocked about 5 or 7 yards downfield by Giants #20. After the collision Stone is squared up with #25. He then drives #25 back 15 yards, with #20 running free next to the pair of them. Stone drives #25 straight into the return man Hixon. Hixon is knocked down; the ball hits #25 in the calf/ankle, dropping him dead in his tracks; and it caroms sideways for Ayanbadejo to snag. Ayanbadejo has a squad of blockers around him, and not many Giants, so he can probably stroll into the end zone here: but the refs blow the whistle as soon as Ayanbadejo has the ball.
This was sort of obvious in real-time, since the bounce was so funny and #25 was knocked down, so I don't understand why the refs whistled the play dead in the first place: it looked like a muffed punt. Then after the play was dead, a number of the Ravens are pointing and saying it's their ball: Jameel McClain and Nick Greisen in particular seemed to have a perfect view of the ball hitting #25's leg. So I don't understand why the Ravens didn't challenge the call. And then since it was a weird looking play, I don't understand why the network didn't bother to show a reply of it. The announcers don't say anything about it at all.
A pivotal part of the game, if the Ravens get a TD there it's 27-17 with over 14 mins of football to play. Yet it just slides by with no mention.
I don't get it.