All ac­cord­ing to plan, Koch runs out the clock

Game-end­ing safety re­calls play in Su­per Bowl XLVII

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

As star­tling as it might have been to watch Ravens punter Sam Koch run around in the end zone for the fi­nal 11 sec­onds of their 19-14 win Sun­day against the Cincin­nati Bengals, it all went ac­cord­ing to plan.

Fac­ing fourth-and-8 from their 23-yard line, the Ravens did not want to give Cincin­nati a chance to turn a 19-12 deficit into a tie. So spe­cial teams co­or­di­na­tor Jerry Ros­burg, coach John Har­baugh and kick­ing con­sul­tant Randy Brown de­vised a plan to con­cede a safety but also run out the clock.

“It was early in the series” when the coaches be­gan for­mu­lat­ing the play, Koch said. “Just kind of go­ing over some pos­si­ble sit­u­a­tions that could arise in that sit­u­a­tion. When you have some­one like Jerry and John and Randy all there, with the minds that they have, it’s one of those sit­u­a­tions they brought up. So it played out in the end, and we’ve got to thank Jerry Ros­burg for that.”

The play was sim­i­lar to the one the Ravens used to de­feat the San Fran­cisco 49ers in Su­per Bowl XLVII in 2013. On fourth-and-7 from the Ravens 8 with 12 sec­onds left, Koch scam­pered around the end zone un­til he was forced out of bounds.

Af­ter that safety, San Fran­cisco still had four sec­onds left to po­ten­tially re­turn the en­su­ing kick­off for a touch­down. On Sun­day, Koch made sure he ran out all 11 sec­onds be­fore step­ping out of the back of the end zone.

“We know what we did wrong in the Su­per Bowl, and we kind of learned from it and just made sure that ev­ery­body did what they needed to and held on as long as they could and ended up win­ning the game,” he said.

Al­though sev­eral Ravens were flagged for hold­ing Sun­day, the Bengals were not awarded an un­timed down be­cause they were not de­fen­sive penal­ties.

Har­baugh said Koch would have had op­tions had the Bengals pen­e­trated the pro­tec­tion and pres­sured him, but the play worked as well as the Ravens could have hoped for.

“I thought our guys did a great job,” Har­baugh said. “Part of the deal was just iden­ti­fy­ing all of their men, be­cause if we misiden­tify on the count and leave one guy run­ning through there, he’s go­ing to get to Sam, and there’s go­ing to be very lit­tle time off the clock. Ev­ery­body did a great job of com­mu­ni­cat­ing.” Smith angers an­other cor­ner­back: A week af­ter Dal­las Cow­boys rookie An­thony Brown said he no longer had re­spect for Steve Smith Sr., the Cincin­nati Bengals’ Dre Kirk­patrick took Smith to task af­ter he recorded four re­cep­tions for 20 yards Sun­day.

“Eighty-nine said I was trash,” Kirk­patrick said of Smith, ac­cord­ing to com­ments dis­trib­uted to re­porters. “If I’m trash, what did he do to­day? [Ex­ple­tive], clean that up. Who was trash to­day? He said what he had to say last year. I just wanted to let him know, am I trash now? Eighty-nine looked to trash me, but he didn’t do any­thing.”

Kirk­patrick was re­fer­ring to last year’s meet­ing in Bal­ti­more, which Cincin­nati won, 28-24. Af­ter catch­ing his sec­ond touch­down in that game, Smith, who fin­ished with 13 re­cep­tions for 186 yards, was caught on cam­era call­ing Kirk­patrick and cor­ner­back AdamJones “trash” be­fore us­ing an ex­ple­tive to de­scribe free safety Ge­orge Iloka.

Kirk­patrick joins a grow­ing list of cor­ner­backs who have taken is­sue with Smith. Jack­sonville Jaguars rookie Jalen Ram­sey was the first, and Brown made his feel­ings known af­ter Dal­las’ 27-17 vic­tory Nov. 20. When asked Wed­nes­day about the crit­i­cism, Smith, 37, told Cincin­nati re­porters: “I can re­ally give a fly­ing [ex­ple­tive].”

Smith de­clined to talk af­ter Sun­day’s win. Put your hands up: The Ravens de­fense’s fi­nal stand in the fi­nal two min­utes of the fourth quar­ter was aided by bat­ted passes .

Out­side line­backer Ter­rell Suggs knocked down a throw by Andy Dal­ton on sec­ond-and-2 at the Ravens 45, rookie out­side line­backer Matthew Judon got his left arm on an­other pass on third-and-3 at the 29, and de­fen­sive end Brent Ur­ban used his right hand to tip an at­tempt on sec­ond-and-10 at the 16. Judon said the de­fense’s scout­ing re­port in­cluded a note on the 6-foot-2 Dal­ton.

“His re­lease point is kind of low,” said Judon, who fin­ished with two bat­ted passes. “He’s not a taller quar­ter­back. We were just try­ing to get our hands up and get some of those balls if we couldn’t get to him.” The Ravens’ Sam Koch takes the ball to the back of the end zone to al­low a safety while Bengals line­backer Nick Vigil pur­sues him as the clock runs out in the fourth quar­ter. Per­ri­man’s first catch of day is touch­down: A week af­ter not be­ing tar­geted in the loss to the Cow­boys, Ravens wide re­ceiver Bre­shad Per­ri­man caught the first pass thrown in his di­rec­tion for a 14-yard touch­down.

The open­ing-drive re­cep­tion was Per­ri­man’s only one of the day, though he was tar­geted two more times, but it marked his sec­ond score in his past three games.

“It re­ally got me go­ing, and it gave me a con­fi­dence boost,” Per­ri­man said. “That was a good start.” End zone: Af­ter Justin Tucker’s fourth field goal of the game with 12:16 left in the game, the Ravens kicker booted the en­su­ing kick­off through the up­rights 75 yards away. Har­baugh joked that kick­offs that split the goal posts should count for one point for the kick­ing team. “How ex­cit­ing would that make it?” he asked. “If we’re go­ing to make th­ese touch­backs so valu­able, let’s do it.” … Three play­ers who en­tered the game des­ig­nated as ques­tion­able — left guard Mar­shal Yanda (left shoul­der), nose tackle Bran­don Wil­liams (back/ hand) and de- fen­sive tackle Timmy Jerni­gan (right shoul­der) — started as usual. … The Ravens de­ac­ti­vated a pair of starters in cor­ner­back Jimmy Smith and rookie guard Alex Lewis. Smith, who also missed the loss to the Cow­boys, did not prac­tice last week be­cause of a back in­jury and had been doubt­ful. Lewis (high-right-an­kle sprain) had been ruled out Fri­day. Rookie out­side line­backer Ka­malei Cor­rea, tight end Crock­ett Gill­more (pulled ham­string), guard Ryan Jensen and run­ning back Lorenzo Tali­a­ferro (thigh) also were in­ac­tive. … Cincin­nati de­ac­ti­vated a pair of starters in wide re­ceiver A.J. Green (strained right ham­string) and strong safety Shawn Wil­liams (ham­string). The team also scratched rookie quar­ter­back Jeff Driskel, long snap­per Clark Har­ris (groin), free safety Der­ron Smith (thigh), rookie guard Chris­tian Wester­man and tight end C.J. Uzomah (calf ). … Out­side lineback­ers Al­bert McClel­lan and Suggs, de­fen­sive end Lawrence Guy and right tackle Rick Wag­ner rep­re­sented the Ravens for the coin toss.

KARL MER­TON FERRON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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