Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan received his first taunting penalty in nearly 14 NFL seasons during a Week 17 loss to the Buffalo Bills, flagged for extracurriculars following a play that was scored a touchdown and reversed after review.
The call raised eyebrows at the time. So did the no call on a late hit after Ryan rushed into the end zone.
And while the play was reversed, the flag actually thrown remained. The infraction seemingly missed couldn't be added upon review.
Got all that?
No? Need more detail? Then read this: Our Tori McElhaney does any excellent job putting that whole controversial sequence in proper context, so please peruse that to understand the wackiness of a series of events that took a Falcons touchdown off the board and set the team's offense back 15 yards on a drive that ended without Atlanta scoring points.
There's another turn in this odd sequence. In addition to the flag, Ryan was penalized again for the same act.
The league fined him for $10,300 for taunting, NFL Network reported on Saturday afternoon.
Ryan said after the loss to Buffalo that the taunting flag surprised him, that he didn't think it "was anything that bad."
While Ryan is known to drop a curse word or two, he's widely recognized for his professionalism on and off the field. Neither Ryan nor Bills safety Jordan Poyer, the other party involved in the play, revealed what was said. Ryan did say he didn't consider it worthy of a flag.
"Quite frankly I didn't think it was taunting," Ryan said in his postgame press conference. "But that's my opinion."
Ryan also understood that lamenting the sequence that harmed the Falcons comeback attempt wouldn't change the event.
"It's just disappointing how it shook out," Ryan said. "Whether I agree with either of the calls doesn't make a difference. Those are the rules."
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