49ers firmly believe two penalties should've been called during late series
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NEW ORLEANS -- Jim Harbaugh will be looking for the flag for the rest of his life.
"There's no question in my mind there was a pass interference [on the second-and-goal pass] and then a hold on Crabtree on the last one," Harbaugh said. "In my opinion, that series should have continued."
But it did not, and the 49ers turned the ball over on downs with 1:46 left and never ran another play from scrimmage.
"I wouldn't be bringing it up if in my mind I didn't think it was obvious," Harbaugh said, "but that's not the way they saw it."
Harbaugh may have been griping about the officiating, but on the other side of the field, the Ravens were thrilled.
"The referees allowed us to play all day," said cornerback Corey Graham, whose hit on Crabtree (which Harbaugh thought was early and should have been interference) dislodged a pass on second-and-goal from the 5. "They were consistent all day with their calls."
The game ultimately came down to a fourth-and-goal play from the Ravens' 5. Kaepernick floated a pass to the right side of the end zone looking for Crabtree.
"I knew they were going there," Ravens safety Ed Reed said. "We called an all-out blitz . . . I didn't go because I wanted to make sure I had eyes on the quarterback just in case. Jimmy Smith did a great job. He didn't need any help."
In fact, Smith fell down while he was covering Crabtree and might have pulled on the receiver as he was on his way to the turf. That's why Harbaugh felt holding should have been called.
"It is what it is, man," Crabtree said. "It was the last play, and I'm not going to blame it on the refs. It came down to the last play and it didn't happen . . . I don't want to say this, but if the ball had been a little lower, giving me a chance to make a play, I'm sure they would've called it. But it happened like that, man."
No flag. No call. And, for the 49ers, no ring.