High on the list of the things the Ravens should be grateful for regarding Sundays 9-6 victory over the Chiefs: the presence of the NFLs regular officials.
Two key offensive pass interference calls went against the Chiefs in the fourth quarter. On the strength if thats the right word of how the replacement referees performed in the first three weeks of the season, its not unfair to assume the Ravens would not have gotten the benefit of either flag without a veteran crew working the game.
Both penalties came when two Chiefs receivers ran crossing patterns and one receiver picked off a Ravens defensive back. Running a pick is all well and good in basketball, but not legal in football.
The first time, on third-and-five from the Ravens 45 with 12:40 left in the game, Dwayne Bowes pick sprung Dexter McCluster for a 25-yard pass play. But instead of first down at the Baltimore 20, the Chiefs were pushed back to their own 45, failed to connect on a pass and had to punt.
A bit later, the Chiefs tried it again, maybe thinking they wouldnt get called for it a second time. With 5:24 remaining, on third-and-11 from the Ravens 15, McCluster and Bowe reversed roles. This time, McClusters pick busted Bowe open across the middle for what would have been a touchdown and, with the extra point, a 10-9 Chiefs lead. But the flag came down, and the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal.
And the Ravens could breathe a big sigh of relief and give thanks for the end of the NFLs lockout of its officials.