The Baltimore Ravens were grasping the very last ounce of hope they had yesterday against the Buffalo Bills when Terrell Suggs was called for unnecessary roughness for his hit on Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel as he was delaying a kneel down.
Suggs and the Ravens sidelined pleaded with officials that Terrell had done nothing wrong because Manuel was delaying his kneel down, thus was still a live ball carrier.
“I’m just disappointed Terrell wasn’t able to cause a fumble there,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He definitely did the right thing in that situation.”
The game was winding down and the Bills were attempting to run out the clock to secure their 23-20 victory over the defending Super Bowl Champions, but it appeared as though there would be a few seconds remaining on the clock once the Bills got to fourth down, thus Manuel was intentionally delaying his kneel downs trying to run more time off the clock.
Suggs was looking to take advantage of the delayed kneel down and came off the edge and hit Manuel fairly hard as the quarterback began his kneel, but Manuel's helmet ended up coming off and the referee threw the flag that essentially ended the game for Baltimore.
“He’s got to get his knee down and he should do it more quickly and not try to burn more time off the clock,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something we hear from the league all the time. His knee was not on the ground.”
Suggs commented that he got an explanation on the field from referee Jerome Boger,
“Jerome Boger said he has to air on the side of safety,” Suggs said. “He said that his helmet came off. Any time a quarterback’s helmet comes off, they’ve kind of got to look at it. It’s whatever. He decided to make the call. I can’t whine about it.”
Again, had the penalty not been called, the Ravens would have only had a few seconds to either field a punt or attempt to get to a scrambling Manuel before time ran off the clock, but if a quarterback is going to delay his kneel down, it is the defense's responsibility to rush him in order to force him to kneel more quickly.
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