OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) — Up 19-14 on the Los Angeles Rams with 4:33 left to play, the Baltimore Ravens could have ended their four-game losing streak and kept their playoff hopes alive with a big defensive stop.
But Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford quickly moved his team into Ravens territory, completing a 15-yard pass to tight end Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp.READ MORE: Report Card Shows Maryland Is Unprepared For Damage Inflicted By Climate Change
On second-and-6, a 15-yard pass to Ben Skowronek put the Rams on the Ravens’ 17-yard line. An eight-yard run from Sony Michel put Los Angeles inside the 10-yard line at the two-minute warning–within striking distance as the Ravens were trying to hold on and help their odds of making the postseason.
Did coach John Harbaugh think about letting the Rams score to give his offense more time to drive down the field and setup a go-ahead score?
“No. No way,” he said during a press conference Monday. “There was a good chance we were going to keep them out of the end zone there. That was what we were trying to do in that case.”
While there are some situations where a coach might let his opponent score to help his own offense, Harbaugh said he didn’t consider it Sunday. His players almost finished the job, too.READ MORE: Ravens And Defensive Coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale Agree To Part Ways, Harbaugh Says
Following the stoppage, Michel gained a yard on 2nd and 2, but he was pushed back 4 yards on his next run, setting up a fourth-and-5. Stafford completed a 7-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. to keep the drive going, and the duo connected on the next play for the go-ahead touchdown. Rams 20, Ravens 19.
The Rams failed to make a two-point conversion, giving the Ravens a chance to win with just a Justin Tucker field goal. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley and the offense had 57 seconds to march down the field, but they only got as far as their own 38-yard line before fizzling out.
At 8-8, the Ravens now have a 3% chance of making the playoffs. Baltimore needs to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Sunday, and get help from three other teams. They need the Cleveland Browns to lose in Week 17 or Week 18, the Indianapolis Colts to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins to lose to (or tie) the New England Patriots, and the Los Angeles Chargers to lose to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Harbaugh said he isn’t going to tell his players who they need to root for on Sunday as they face elimination.MORE NEWS: Police: Student Shot At Montgomery County School, Suspect In Custody
“I think our guys pretty much know who that is,” he said. “So our focus is going to be on our game, winning our game.”