John Harbaugh defends Ravens, slams Vic Fangio in presser


Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens defended his team’s decision to run on the final play of their 23-7 victory over the Denver Broncos, lashing back at Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos.

Taking a knee in a blowout is frequently considered as a gesture of goodwill toward the losing team, but the Ravens were not about to do so when an NFL record was on the line.

In a crushing 23-7 blowout at Mile High, the Ravens chose to run rather than kneel on the game’s last play. The Ravens just needed three yards to tie an NFL running record, and Lamar Jackson surpassed it with five.

The Ravens have now played 43 straight regular-season games with 100 rushing yards, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s. Despite their winning streak, the Broncos were dissatisfied with the Ravens’ final performance. Harbaugh’s final decision was said to have angered Broncos players and coaches.

Harbaugh, on the other hand, stayed steadfast in his decision, chastising the Broncos for their emotional reaction to losing a game that was already out of reach.

And final Harbaugh: “Throwing the ball in the end zone with 10 seconds left? I don’t know that there’s a 16-point touchdown that’s going to be possible right there. That didn’t have anything to do with winning the game.”

— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) October 4, 2021

Ravens coach John Harbaugh fires back at Vic Fangio in post-game press conference

Even without knowing the record, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was taken aback by Harbaugh’s choice to run, owing to the shady reputation bestowed on teams that fail to accept defeat gracefully.

When Harbaugh made the call, Jackson stated, “I don’t know what he was thinking.” “I was expecting us to take a knee, but he responded, ‘No, we’re going for it.’ “The game was over.”

Apart from rebuking Fangio, Harbaugh explained why this call was so crucial to his team.

“That’s one of those things that’s meaningful. It’s one of those things that as a head coach, you’ve got to be mindful of your team and your players and your coaches and what it means to them. It’s a very, very tough record to accomplish and it’s a long-term record. As a head coach, I think you do that for your players and for your coaches and it’s something they’ll have for the rest of their lives.”

Jackson’s throwing stats were also historic: it was his first game with over 300 passing yards since the start of the 2019 season. That game would be the start of a season that would end with him winning the prestigious NFL MVP award.

The Ravens have now made NFL history for the second time this season, the first being Justin Tucker’s record-breaking 66-yard field goal against the Detroit Lions in Week 3.

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