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John Harbaugh: I’m going to coach team to score from the half-yard line

New York Giants outside linebacker Mark Herzlich (94) and Jonathan Casillas (52) stop Baltimore Ravens' Terrance West (28) on fourth down near the goal line during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) AP

On the first play of the fourth quarter last Sunday, the Ravens faced a fourth down from inside the Giants’ one-yard-line while trailing 17-13 and coach John Harbaugh opted to go for the touchdown.

Quarterback Joe Flacco pitched the ball to running back Terrance West who tried to get outside the defense, but failed when linebackers Jonathan Casillas and Mark Herzlich stuffed him for a loss. Harbaugh’s decision came under scrutiny late in the game when the Ravens needed a touchdown rather than a field goal to win, but he has no regrets about the decision.

Harbaugh said he is “going to coach this team to score from the half-yard line” and that the team’s analytics backed up the decision to go for six points, leaving him upset about the outcome of the play but not the decision to try it.

“We tried a fake field goal [in Week Five]¬†and we ended up losing by six,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN.com. “If we would have got the touchdown there, we would have won the game. But no one said, ‘Well, it was good to go for the fake there, because you ended up losing by six.’ Last week, we say, ‘The game would have played out differently,’ and this week we say, ‘The game would have played out the same way.’ How would the game have played out? I don’t know how the game would have played out.”

It’s hard to argue with a coach who chooses to believe his team is capable of scoring from the lip of the end zone and Harbaugh’s long been a proponent of going for it on fourth downs. The Ravens have tried to convert fourth downs more than any other team since the start of the 2014 season and Harbaugh’s answer to questions make it clear the process will remain the same despite the bad outcome against the Giants.

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11 Responses to “John Harbaugh: I’m going to coach team to score from the half-yard line”
  1. 6ball says: Oct 19, 2016 9:04 AM

    .
    The decision to go for it was fine. However, the decision to call a pitch play sucked. Not only did they fail to make it, but the loss of yardage gave the Giants breathing room when the ball turned over.
    .

  2. wvravensfan83 says: Oct 19, 2016 9:09 AM

    I can agree with his decision to go for it this week more than I can for the fake FG attempt last week (a game that I was in attendance). The only thing I can say is that at least this year they are sticking close with the games (heck they did last year as well before half the team was on IR). I like Harbaugh’s aggressiveness. They very easily could be 6-0 or 0-6. After 5-11 last year I’ll take 3-3 so far. The off naive line has been a mess with injuries and they are having Flacco throw too much, but Marty did stick with the run more this last week which was good. At least Trestman is gone!

  3. Dont Vontaze Me Bro!! says: Oct 19, 2016 9:11 AM

    Hey John, shut your mouth you condescending d-bag. It was a stupid decision. you are on the road, early in the 4th, take the points. It was the same thing I said about he Bengals when they went for it on 4th and goal early against the Patriots and got stuffed. You are on the road, don’t give the home team, and their crowd a chance to get pumped up and get the momentum rolling against you.

  4. sonhoodoo says: Oct 19, 2016 9:36 AM

    Why hadn’t he coached them on this before? Oh, right. Harbaugh.

  5. guitarkevin says: Oct 19, 2016 9:49 AM

    When was the last time the Ravens pitched the ball in a goal line situation and actually scored a TD?

  6. ravens2014 says: Oct 19, 2016 9:50 AM

    Harbaugh has cost the Ravens three straight weeks. Accepting that penalty against the raiders, fake fg against the redskins, going for it on 4th down against the giants. Ravens win all three games without those dumb decisions by harbaugh.

  7. peebag says: Oct 19, 2016 10:22 AM

    Don’t worry. Up next victory! Up next the New York Nyets!

  8. marvsleezy says: Oct 19, 2016 10:31 AM

    Im calling 4 wides. Dual wide receiver screens. QB chooses a side to throws to or goes QB sneak. His call based on what he sees.

  9. crewchief15 says: Oct 19, 2016 12:01 PM

    I agree with going for it, but it was a horrible play call at the goal line. The defense only has to cover 10 yards deep, so everybody’s at the line, you should never pitch back, this gives the CB’s and LB’s more time to react to where the ball is. All the Harbaugh’s are condescending jerks…

  10. ajames35 says: Oct 19, 2016 12:46 PM

    It’s refreshing when coaches make non-traditional but logically superior decisions. Too many coaches revert to caveman logic under pressure and use empty cliches to explain it.

  11. lifetimefan says: Oct 20, 2016 9:17 AM

    Coach em up all you want Jonny, maybe it was the play call itself and not the idea of going for it.

    You can always use the ineligible receiver play that you complained about but ended up using yourself.

    Or you can listen to your daughter and Brady ’em

    Looks like you may have some extra time this off season, maybe you can finally get a ride on BB’s boat

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