Harbaugh blasts ref decisions after Super Bowl loss

NEW ORLEANS Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:45am EST

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts on the sidelines during the fourth quarter in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013. REUTERS/Sean Gardner

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts on the sidelines during the fourth quarter in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sean Gardner

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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, beaten by his brother John's Baltimore Ravens, criticized key decisions made by the referees after his team fell 34-31 in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Harbaugh questioned two non-calls in the final series when the 49ers failed to convert with a first and goal as they looked to find receiver Michael Crabtree with the game on the line.

"There's no question in my mind that there was a pass interference and then a hold on Crabtree on the last one," said Harbaugh.

The 49ers coach was also unhappy with, on Baltimore's subsequent possession, the failure of officials to call holding as Ravens punter Sam Koch took a safety to eat up time.

"I still haven't gotten an explanation on the safety. It was obviously the intent of the Ravens to tackle and hold... but not one holding flag came out," he said.

"I realize I am on the side of the 49ers, I'm the coach and probably have some bias there but in my mind I thought it was obvious, but that's not the way they saw it," he added.

Harbaugh also protested the decision to penalize his cornerback Chris Culliver for pass interference, allowing the Ravens to make a crucial first down after Joe Flacco had thrown an incomplete pass on third down with the score 31-29.

"I didn't think that was an interference," said Harbaugh.

But the 49ers coach was also critical of his players, who paid the price for turnovers and penalties.

"We want to handle this with class and grace. We had several opportunities in the game. We didn't play our best game. Ravens made a lot of plays. Our guys battled back to get in it. We competed and battled to win," he said.

Asked about his failure to give running back Frank Gore a chance to burst into the end-zone on the three failed attempts to score from five yards out, Harbaugh simply said: "We had other plays called."

(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)

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Comments (2)
vtyankee14 wrote:
I watched the entire game while posting on Facebook and believe me? I was moaning and groaning about the REFS!!!

Feb 04, 2013 3:35am EST  --  Report as abuse
mrmikejohnson wrote:
The hold on Crabtree should have been called, but Harbaugh is wrong about the hold on the safety. He’s right that they were holding, but he’s wrong in that it was in the 49ers’ best interest for it to be called. If they called holding, they would have replayed 4th down allowing the Ravens to run even more time. Ginn wouldn’t have even gotten a shot at the punt return if they threw the flag on the safety play.

Feb 05, 2013 11:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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