The Ravens almost completed a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter against the Packers. They came only one point short of the late risk they took.
After Tyler Huntley scored a goal to shorten the Packers’ 31-30 lead, coach John Harbaugh made the decision to use two. The transition failed, as Huntley was unable to connect with Mark Andrews on the pass to the front right tower.
The Ravens had to attempt an instant kick due to the failure of the switch, but the Packers recovered it with 43 seconds remaining to seal a 31-30 victory.
The defeat, which knocked the Ravens out of the AFC North lead and out of the playoff picture together, left some Ravens fans with one key question. Why did Harbaugh take two people there?
“I think our chances of winning are better there than in injury time” veteran coach explained in a post-game press conference.
Harbaugh’s decision should not come as a surprise. He did the same thing two weeks ago against the Steelers after Lamar Jackson scored the winning goal in 12 seconds.
The Steelers were leading 20-19 but Harbaugh decided to let his team go two goals and take the win. Jackson was unable to connect with Andrews on the short path out of the backyard, and Raven lost as a result.
Although both conversions failed, Harbaugh insisted that his decision was the right one.
“For me, in both of those cases, that gave us the best chance to win,” Harbaugh said try two points. “Because we didn’t win doesn’t make it wrong. It’s still true now, just as it was then. It doesn’t always work out.”
Packers coach Matt LaFleur also thinks the decision is the right one, and he explained when asked if he would do the same thing as Harbaugh during his post-match press conference.
“If I’m on that sideline, it’s totally possible,” LaFleur said. “I will absolutely have [gone for it]. You know, that’s what I expected. It was what we predicted as a coaching staff that they would go two if they scored. . .sure they did. “
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The numbers seem to indicate that Harbaugh’s choice is a bit like a coin flip. ESPN’s Seth Walder points out that it’s a bit “slightly inclined” to try to score more in that position, and if Harbaugh really wants to take two, he should do it while Raven is down eight points, like they will do. had another chance to convert a two point attempt but their first attempt failed.
The error did not occur for 2 down to 8.
Regarding the final decision, we have set the breakeven rate at 51%, which means very light on NPAT but could really go either way. Close enough that factors like injury are worth considering.
Harbaugh made a mistake. But that was on TD first.
– Seth Walder (@SethWalder) December 20, 2021
But the Ravens don’t care what others are saying. Harbaugh is comfortable with his choices and so are the Ravens.
“It’s a ‘decision’,” Andrews said of the two-point conversion effort. “Whoever guesses wrong a second time is wrong.”