Mistake By the Lake: Were the Cleveland Browns Robbed?

Matt AlgarinContributor IOctober 9, 2009

In a game that could not be decided in four quarters, the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals took their Week Four battle of Ohio into overtime as Shaunn Rogers blocked Shayne Graham's game-winning extra-point with 1:55 left in regulation.

In what would be a coming out party for Browns rookie wide receiver Mohammad Massaqoui—who had eight receptions for 148 yards—the Browns offense showed improvement.

Josh Cribbs had 223 total return yards, Jerome Harrison had 29 rushes for 121 yards, and Derek Anderson went 26-of-48 for 269 yards, one TD and a pick.

While the offense compiled 395 yards, the defense was solid as well, holding Carson Palmer and the talented Bengals offense to 375 yards.

You may think to yourself, "that is nothing special," but this comes from a defense who is ranked 32nd in the NFL in defense while giving up 29.5 points-per-game (31st in the NFL).

Getting to the point, if you go back and watch the highlights of Shayne Graham's supposed game-winning field goal, you can see that in my opinion—and the opinion of many others, including Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan—the ball went just to the outside of the right upright.

Just to give you an idea and another look at it watch the end of this highlight.

Watch the ball as it approaches the upright. It goes from the center of the upright, then veers to the left of the screen and appears to go just outside the upright.

Watch it closely, then form your own opinion. To me—and not because I am a Browns fan—it clearly looks as though it was outside the post. Can it be the camera angle? Perhaps. But it looks a little too close for me to say.

Ryan made his opinion known in a press conference today.

"I don't want to make this a big story, but I was disappointed. Of course, I'm not an expert. That's why I'm saying someone should look at it," he said.

In a statement from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the call on the field was accurate.

"The field judge standing right underneath the upright called it good, and we have reviewed multiple videos from different angles and seen nothing to dispute the call," Aiello said.

Well, if you are a Browns fan, you have to feel a little disappointed. Whether the call was right or wrong, it was a game that we could have won.