As Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White walked in the go-ahead touchdown last night against the Baltimore Ravens, CB Josh Wilson was already pleading for a flag. White was wide open in the first place because as soon as he hit his out route cut, Wilson hit the deck. There’s definitely some contact between the two, but see for yourself:
I’m trying to look at this with an open mind and objective eye, but I don’t see a pushoff meriting a penalty. It looks like Wilson’s rookie footwork betrayed him, as he was essentially planted in White’s path. If anything, their feet bumped against each other and caused the trip, but White doesn’t appear to lose a step, so it’s hard to tell.
I’ve gone through this frame by frame, and I don’t see anything White does with his upper body that unquestionably forces Wilson to fall over. If that slight bump sent Wilson reeling, then either White’s strength is much better or Wilson’s footwork is worse than we thought. Maybe that’s homer talk, but this looks more like incidental contact with a dramatic result than it does even acceptable physical play, let alone unacceptable.
Even if we say this should’ve been a penalty, the Falcons would’ve had the ball at the 43 with a time out and time for two passes to get back into field goal range. Plus a kicker who's missed only once in a dome since 2008. The Falcons still would have had a very good chance at winning.