NFL

No regrets for Harbaugh after Ravens gamble and lose against Packers

By Sports Desk December 19, 2021

For the second time in three weeks, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh opted to try for a two-point conversion and the win in the final minute of regulation rather than kicking the extra point and hoping to prevail in overtime. 

Just as they had against the Pittsburgh Steelers a fortnight earlier, the Ravens failed to convert Sunday and fell in heart-breaking fashion, 31-30 to the Green Bay Packers. 

Green Bay led 31-17 before Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley, starting in place of the injured Lamar Jackson, ran for a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes. 

After the second of those, with 45 seconds remaining, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh opted to go for a two-point conversion that would have put the Ravens (8-6) on top, but Huntley could not connect on his pass attempt to Mark Andrews. 

Harbaugh had told Huntley before the first of those touchdown drives that he planned to go for the win in regulation again if the Ravens found themselves in a similar position to the one they were in against the Steelers, and the coach did not second-guess himself afterward. 

"We were just trying to get the win right there," Harbaugh told reporters. "I think our chances of winning right there were a little bit higher than in overtime, maybe, if you calculate it out. I felt good about it. I thought we had a good play. Again, they made a really good play."

Had the Ravens decided to kick the extra point and tie the game at 31-31, there were no guarantees they would even have made it to overtime, considering Aaron Rodgers would have had some time to work his magic before time ran out. 

That made it a slightly different call than the one Harbaugh made against the Steelers, when the Ravens scored with just 12 seconds to play in the game. 

Either way, Harbaugh said those two failures in quick succession – not to mention a failed two-point try earlier in the fourth quarter in a two-point loss to the Cleveland Browns last week – would not affect his process going forward. 

"It’s situation to situation," Harbaugh said. "To me, in both of those cases, that gave us the best chance to win. Because we didn’t win doesn’t make it not true. It’s still true now, just as true as it was then. So, it doesn’t always work out."

Harbaugh's players backed his decision, with Andrews saying the move fit Baltimore's persona. 

"I think people that second-guessed that are wrong," he said. "I think that was the right thing to do. We’re an aggressive team.”

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