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NFL considers penalizing Harbaugh

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NFL considers penalizing Harbaugh

The NFL is investigating coaches who clashed with replacement officials Sunday, and that includes the Ravens coach.

We are reviewing incidents from yesterdays games involving the game officials and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the NFL said in statement.

Harbaugh admits he made contact with an official but contends that it was incidental as he was motioning for a timeout in the fourth quarter. The Ravens were quickly hit with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct with 2:23 left in the game and New England driving with a 30-28 lead.

Harbaugh was reluctant to address the issue Monday, instead focusing on the difficulty replacement officials have trying to fill in on short notice.

"There are a lot of good officials in these crews. It's just going to be hard for those guys to all be on the same page with the history of the National Football League and all that in a few weeks," Harbaugh said. "But there are a lot of very talented officials that do a great job. ... The task is tough and they are working real hard at it."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick appeared to actually grab an official after Justin Tucker's 27-yard field goal as time expired won the game for Baltimore.

On the Ravens' final drive, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty was hit with a 27-yard pass interference call that put the ball on the 7-yard line.

On the Ravens' drive before that, McCourty and linebacker Brandon Spikes were called for defensive holding which resulted in automatic first downs.

There were 24 total penalties accepted for 218 yards.

"I'm not going to comment about that. You saw the game," Belichick said Sunday. "What did we have, 30 penalties called in that game?"

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Despite 4-5 record, Ravens just one game out of final AFC playoff spot

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USA TODAY Sports

Despite 4-5 record, Ravens just one game out of final AFC playoff spot

Their record and performance over the last month may not show it, but the Baltimore Ravens are just one game out of the No. 6 playoff spot in the AFC.

The Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), Los Angeles Chargers (7-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2), New England Patriots (7-3), Houston Texans (6-3), Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), Tennessee Titans (5-4) and the Miami Dolphins (5-5) all rank above the Ravens. But a win Sunday against the Bengals would push the Ravens to the No. 6 spot as they own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Titans.

Beside remaining in playoff contention, a win Sunday is crucial considering head coach John Harbaugh's job is in question with his team sitting at 4-5, quarterback Joe Flacco is reportedly dealing with a hip injury and the possibility of rookie Lamar Jackson getting his first NFL start. 

After getting blown out 51-14 by the Saints, the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday. Cincinnati's defense ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed (313.3) and total yards allowed (454.6). A rested Ravens team will have to take advantage of the first team in the Super Bowl era to surrender 500 yards in three straight games as they are among five teams within one game of the final wildcard spot. 

Getting shutout by the Bengals this season would give Andy Dalton and co. a two-game lead over the Ravens as well as possessing the tiebreaker. 

According to the New York Times' NFL Playoff Simulator, the Ravens have a 27% chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 11 with their remaining strength of schedule ranking at No. 27. 

After hosting the Bengals on Sunday, the Ravens host the Oakland Raiders (1-7), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) and Cleveland Browns (3-6), but have tough road games against the Atlanta Falcons (4-5), Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) and Los Angeles Chargers (7-2). 

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Robert Griffin III nominated for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA

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Robert Griffin III nominated for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is the team's nominee for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. 

Presented annually by USAA and the NFL, the award honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. 

The Robert Griffin III Foundation supports Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), that helps aid those grieving the death of a loved one who served in the military; Luke's Wings, which united wounded warriors, veterans and heroes with their loved ones; and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, that helps ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving when they return home. 

Griffin III was born in Okinawa, Japan where his parents were stationed as U.S. Army sergeants. The quarterback spent time living in Fort Carson, Colorado, Seoul, Korea and Fort Hood, Texas as a military kid. His family then settled in Cooperas Cove, Texas, an hour drive from Baylor University where Griffin III attended college. 

Finalist for the award will be announced in January. The recipient will be recognized at the NFL Honors award show Saturday, Feb. 2, on the eve of Super Bowl LIII.

RGIII's head coach, John Harbaugh, received the honor in 2013. 

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