Ravens hold Bengals defenders; surrender safety intentionally on final play
— The Baltimore Ravens have committed far too many penalties this season, so it’s a bit ironic that they clinched Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals with a play in which they were flagged for several holding calls – intentionally.
The Ravens successfully ran the final 11 seconds off of the game clock before punter Sam Koch stepped out of the back of the end zone for an intentional safety. Everybody but Koch grabbed onto a Bengals defender and held on for dear life. Four flags littered the field, but even more could have been thrown.
“It’s pretty much a play that every special teams coach has in his playbook, so I don’t think it’s anything revolutionary by any stretch,” head coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “I was really happy with the way the guys executed it, really proud of that. I thought they did a great job of finishing the game.”
A defensive penalty on the final play of a half results in an untimed down. An offensive penalty does not. The Bengals were awarded two
points, but the game ended. Baltimore won 19-14.
Harbaugh and the Ravens have exploited the loophole before – to help secure a victory in Super Bow XLVII. He said the one on Sunday was the best-executed safety ever. The Ravens practiced the play during training camp.
Baltimore ran the play with 12 seconds left in the Super Bowl, but Koch only ran eight seconds off the clock and the Ravens were forced to punt to the San Francisco 49ers. He made sure to leave no time on the clock and was credited with -23 yards rushing.
“That’s a big play, you don’t want to have to punt because they’re rushing you and they can block it; and you don’t really want to put it back there in Pacman Jones’ hands in that situation either if you don’t have to because he could take it back,” Harbaugh said. “So it’s better to take the safety if you think you can run all the time off the clock. But 11 seconds is a long time to run off the clock, so our guys did a good job of getting all the time off the clock.”
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
Punter Sam Koch (4) of the Baltimore Ravens scampers around in the end zone to eat up time on the clock near the end of the game against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Feb. 3, 2013. The Ravens used a similar play at the end of Sunday's game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.