Why John Harbaugh, Ravens Went For Game-Winning Conversion Vs. Steelers

Harbaugh said the Ravens were depleted on defense, which caused Baltimore to go for it

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December 5, 2021

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh allowed quarterback Lamar Jackson the chance to make a play on what would have essentially been a game-winning two-point conversion, but the quarterback’s pass hit off the outstretched hands of tight end Mark Andrews and fell incomplete.

It meant the Ravens failed to convert as the host Pittsburgh Steelers escaped with a 20-19 victory. It also meant the Ravens, who entered Week 13 as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, dropped in the playoff standings with the New England Patriots now holding the top spot entering “Monday Night Football” against the Buffalo Bills.

Harbaugh was asked for his reasoning behind the two-point attempt, rather than sending out the kicking unit for a game-tying extra point. A make from the dependable Justin Tucker likely would have sent the game to AFC North clash into overtime.

“Try to win the game right there,” Harbaugh responded, per the team. “We were pretty much out of corners, you know, at that point in time. So it’s an opportunity to try to win the game right there.”

Harbaugh noted how All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey was injured and explained how it could be a few weeks before he returns. He did not disclose the exact injury Humphrey suffered, and said the team would do further testing.

The Ravens head coach, though, seemed content with the play call on the conversion attempt. It didn’t appear to be the best throw from Jackson to Andrews, who was moving from left to right and couldn’t haul in the catch near the goal line. If Jackson’s ball was on target, there was a good chance Baltimore converted and thus won the game.

“Well, you saw the play, I mean, it’s that close. It’s a game of inches,” Harbaugh said. “You saw the Al Pacino speech in ‘Any Given Sunday,’ right? There you go. That’s football. It’s just that close.

“Yeah, he was open,” Harbaugh followed up. “You know, so, we did (get the look they wanted).”

The Ravens fell to 8-4 with the loss while the Steelers improved to 6-5-1.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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