DENVER (AP) — Victory formation is for losers. The Baltimore Ravens wanted the rushing record.
So, John Harbaugh isn’t one bit sorry for not having Lamar Jackson take a knee to close out their rout at Denver.
Harbaugh explained enthusiastically and unapologetically after Baltimore’s 23-7 victory Sunday that it was important to his players, coaches and even the team’s fans to match the mark of 43 consecutive 100-yard rushing games set by the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974-77.
Harbaugh reacted with dismay Monday when he learned that Broncos coach Vic Fangio saw his decision as classless and dangerous and compared it to bull excrement.
“Thirty-seven years in pro ball, I’ve never seen anything like that,” Fangio said, “but it was to be expected and we expected it.”
“I thought we were on good terms,” retorted Harbaugh, who had Fangio on his first staff 14 years ago. “We had a nice chat before the game. Known each other for a long time.
“But I promise you I’m not going to give that insult one second’s thought. What’s meaningful to us might not be meaningful to them. Their concerns are definitely not our concerns.”
Fangio’s umbrage of Harbaugh’s call is sure to become part of the narrative when the Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts next Monday night with the chance to break the rushing record.
The Broncos (3-1) had limited the Ravens to 97 yards on the ground Sunday, including just 23 by Jackson, his lowest total in almost a year, when Baltimore cornerback Anthony Averett intercepted a Drew Lock pass in the end zone with 3 seconds left.
Instead of lining up in victory formation, Jackson took the shotgun snap and swept left for 5 yards.
“We didn’t expect to get the ball back, but I’d already decided, we decided, that if we got the ball back, we were going to try to get the yards, and we got it back with 3 seconds left,” Harbaugh said.
And he returned Fangio’s dig that “we expected that from them” with one of his own, criticizing the Broncos for trying to score a meaningless TD in the closing seconds.
“I don’t know that there’s a 16-point touchdown that’s going to be possible right there, so that didn’t have anything to do with winning the game,” he said.
Fangio was so mad that he threw his headphones off in disgust after that final play. What that shows is he was just as focused on the Ravens’ run at the record as Harbaugh was, and maybe he felt that snapping the streak would serve as a consolation prize for Denver’s defense.
Source: AP – All contents copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Written by: Editor