BALTIMORE - The Ravens were raving mad after last night's game, and several players pointed their anger at the officiating.
Cornerback Chris McAlister indicated that the playing field was uneven.
"It's hard to go out there and play the Patriots and the refs at the same time," he said after New England pulled out a 27-24 victory. "They put the crown on top, and they want them to win.
"The refs, they're horrible. That's the bottom line. They made a lot of bad calls and it is what it is. They'll send in their little report to say that we made a mistake on this one, and this should have been that, but it's too late."
Linebacker Terrell Suggs indicated the referees made calls in favor of the Patriots at the end of the game.
"It's kind of the feeling of the 2001 tuck rule. That is the NFL for you, man," he said. "When they got a guy like [Tom Brady] that is selling a lot of tickets, you want to keep him selling tickets."
Added receiver Derrick Mason: "It's kind of like that old Bulls team when they were running the table. You were playing against Jordan, Pippen and the bunch and it was hard to beat them because everyone was on their side. That's the way it is now. You've got Brady and the bunch. It's hard to beat them when you're playing against them and extra people."
The comments on the officiating overshadowed an emotional day for running back Willis McGahee, who wanted to attend the funeral of former college teammate Sean Taylor, which was held yesterda morning in Miami. But the game against the Patriots prevented him from doing so. So instead, he went out and had his best game of the season. McGahee rushed for 138 yards on 30 carries and added four catches for 21 yards.
"I thought we ran the ball very, very well against an outstanding football team," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I'm very pleased with the way we ran the ball."
For McGahee, flying down to Miami yesterday and returning to Baltimore in time for the game would have been impractical.
"I really wanted to go to the funeral," McGahee said. "I would have been drained, just from the flight alone. I was just playing for him, basically, dedicating the rest of the season to him."
And that's one of the reasons McGahee couldn't hide his disappointment after the Ravens let a 24-17 fourth-quarter lead slip away.
"It's tough to come out and play the way we did and have it taken away at the end," he said.
McGahee said he could barely watch the Patriots' winning drive, which ended with Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney with 44 seconds left.
"The loss takes away everything," McGahee said. "We played our hearts out tonight. This was just a glimpse of what our offense can do."