USA About: Ravens Publish: 12/21/2021 Edit: 12/21/2021 Author: Gardener
The Charm City team led an enchanted life for the first 12 weeks, going 6-1 in games that were decided by six or fewer points. Now the Ravens have lost three in a row - by a total of four points. In each of their last three games, Baltimore has missed a 2-point conversion at a cost. On Sunday, the Ravens' attempt failed, 42 seconds back, and they ended up one point less in a 31:30 loss to Green Bay. "I think that's what makes it so exciting and when it doesn't work it's so devastating," said Harbaugh. "If we had cracked two of these 2-point conversions, two of them, we would be No. 1 in the AFC." Instead, Baltimore (8-6) is in first place in AFC North and will go to Cincinnati next weekend (8-6) -6) into a showdown. Harbaugh spoke a little more Monday about the decision to go to 2 after Tyler Huntley's late touchdown. Huntley - who played because of an injury to star quarterback Lamar Jackson - actually ran for two TDs in the final minutes. The Ravens were trailing 31-17 before his first touchdown run took the lead. Harbaugh said they could have left for 2 after that TD - which would have given them something of a safety net because if they missed they would still have been behind at eight with 4:47 remaining. I just felt like the clock was a little tight, ”said Harbaugh. Harbaugh also said the decision to play for the win rather than overtime wasn't made that early. "I wasn't sure at the time whether we would go for 2 or not," said Harbaugh. "It was more of a decision made too late, so I really wanted to postpone that decision until the end and just see how I felt, where we were and how much time was left." The Ravens hoped a full week of training and preparation would give Huntley a chance to perform well, and that is exactly what happened. Baltimore scored 30 points after being kept at 22 or less in six of their last seven games. Although Jackson is obviously still Baltimore's franchise quarterback, Huntley has played well enough that the Ravens can have some confidence in him if Jackson is still constrained. It's a potentially difficult decision now when Baltimore has to choose between Huntley and a little less than 100% Jackson. "There is no definitive formula," said Harbaugh. As expected, Baltimore's low-injury secondary field against Aaron Rodgers had its problems. The 31 points Green Bay scored didn't do justice to how easily the Packers moved the ball at times, even though the Ravens stiffened just enough in the fourth quarter to keep the game tight. Green Bay had 59 offensive games and 26 first downs. It looked like the Ravens would establish their running game in the second half shortly thereafter, but when they fell two points back it was more difficult to continue that approach. Still, Latavius Murray had 48 yards on seven tries, and Baltimore averaged 5.5 yards per rush as a team. The Ravens owe at least one victory this year to 2-point conversions. They made two of them - both passes on the tight end of Mark Andrews - as they rallied for an overtime win over Indianapolis on October 11 after trailing 16 points in the fourth quarter. At this point, however, it appears that the opponents are prepared to go to Andrews in such situations. And considering how many times the Ravens have played for 2, one might wonder if they may have already used up their best games for that seat on the field. "We need to have a lot of games to choose from in this area," said Harbaugh. “I think that's one thing that has changed about football in the last five years or so. Harbaugh said he was "hopeful" about Jackson's recovery from a sprained ankle. The Ravens also came out of the game with injuries to CB Tavon Young (concussion), WR Devin Duvernay (ankle) and OL Tire Phillips (knee). "Look at Tyler Huntley over there," said Andrews. “When a guy plays like that, it's something special. The Ravens were 5-1 when they faced Cincinnati at home on October 24th.
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