Vince Wilfork on officiating: ‘I know what the rules are, but hey, it’s not up to me’

Whether it was Bill Belichick targeting referee Bruce Hermansen after the game, or Vince Wilfork blowing his top at the officials following the final field goal, or any number of Patriots or Ravens putting their palms in the air after a flag, there simply weren’t any happy people in regard to tonight’s officiating.

It wasn’t an issue of the players thinking the crew was out to get their team. Rather, they were just peeved that the calls completely lacked consistency.

“I know what the rules are, but hey, it’s not up to me,” Wilfork said. “I’m not throwing the flags. I’m the one playing.”

The Ravens were flagged 14 times for 135 yards, and the Pats were whistled 10 times for 83 yards, including three times during the Ravens’ final two touchdown drives.

“It’s very frustrating,” Wilfork said. “We’re an aggressive defense. It takes away from your aggressiveness at times, the things we’re trying to do, and it takes it away.”

This has turned into an NFL-wide issue, as players and coaches alike have had their problems with the replacement officials.

“This is not going to be the first game it’s happened,” wide receiver Deion Branch said. “I’ve been in games in the past. It happens on both sides of the ball. There were some calls with them that they didn’t like and some calls with us that we didn’t like. That’s why we’ve got to go out and do a better job of doing what we do best and taking it out of the refs’ hands.”

Belichick wouldn’t elaborate on his exchange with Hermansen.

“I’m not going to comment about that,” Belichick said. “You saw the game. What did we have, 30 penalties called in the game?”

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