Vic Fangio didn’t care what milestone the Ravens were chasing. That late race was still for him.
The Ravens led Sunday’s game against the Broncos 23-7 and recovered the ball with three seconds left. Rather than kneel to end the game, Lamar Jackson went forward 5 yards to give the Ravens 102 rushing yards on the day, extending Baltimore’s streak to tie the NFL record with 43 consecutive games of 100+ rushing yards in a game.
Fangio released his thoughts on the rush Monday, according to Troy Renck of Denver7.
“I thought they were some kind of bulls, but I expected it of them,” said Fangio. “Thirty-seven years in professional baseball, I’ve never seen anything like it, but it was to be expected. We expected it.”
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Fangio explained that he saw it coming because he knows how they operate.
“That’s just their mode of operation there,” Fangio said. “Player safety is secondary.”
And Fangio didn’t wait until after the game to show his frustration with the call. He was seen on the sidelines, visibly frustrated and yelling expletives as soon as Jackson stepped forward as the clock was running out.
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Ravens coach John Harbaugh had his own response, saying he thought he and Fangio were on good terms, but that he wasn’t “going to give that insult a second thought.”
He said the Ravens weren’t expecting to get the ball back, but if they did, they were going to try to get the yards.
“Throwing the ball in the end zone with 10 seconds left, I don’t know if there will be a 16-point touchdown that is possible right there, so that had nothing to do with winning the game,” Harbaugh said. “As I said, what is meaningful to us may not be meaningful to them and we are not going to worry about that.”
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The decision to run the ball was a bit surprising. After the Ravens intercepted Broncos quarterback Drew Lock in the end zone with three seconds left, all they had to do was kneel once and the game would be over. Especially with Jackson who had already come into the game and it was questionable to start with a sore back, opting to rush the franchise quarterback to pick up 3 yards at the end of a game seemed to take an unnecessary risk.
But Harbaugh defended the decision after the game, saying it was his decision to go for yards.
“One hundred percent of my call,” Harbaugh said. “That’s one of those significant things. As a head coach, you have to be aware of your players and coaches and what it means to them.”
John Harbaugh on running for the record instead of kneeling:
“100 percent my decision. That’s one of those significant things. As a head coach, you have to be aware of your players and coaches and what it means to them. “
– Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) October 3, 2021
Even Jackson was caught off guard by the decision to run.
“My coach, James Urban, told me that the coach wants to run a play to get three yards really fast to keep the record and that’s what we did,” Jackson said, according to Sports Illustrated. “I don’t know what he was thinking. I thought we’d get on our knees and he said, no, let’s go for it. The game was saved. ‘Double-A’ (cornerback Anthony Averett) caught that pick in the back of the zone for scoring, congratulations to him, but I don’t know what the coach was thinking. “
The Ravens will now claim their share of the consecutive game record with at least 100 rushing yards in Sunday’s clash with the Colts. The Colts have allowed 456 rushing yards in four games, including 180 yards for the Titans in Week 3.