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The Loop

Isn't It Ironic

John Harbaugh being pissed at the Bengals for running up the score is irony of the highest order

December 27, 2021

Flashback to October 3, Week 4. The Baltimore Ravens were in the midst of picking up a third straight victory, leading the Denver Broncos 23-7 late in the fourth quarter. With less than 10 seconds to play and the game in hand, the Ravens offense decided to run one more play, knowing full well they had a record within reach.

The record: 43 consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards, set by the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974-1977. Needing three yards to eclipse the 100-yard mark and tie the record, quarterback Lamar Jackson ran the ball instead of kneeling it, picking up five yards to give his team 102 rushing yards on the day. Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said after the game it was "100 percent" his call, and that tying the record, while not more important than winning, was still meaningful to his team. Broncos head coach Vic Fangio called the ove "kind ofbullsh-t," and Harbaugh later doubled down while also jabbing Fangio for throwing the ball with 10 seconds left down 23-7. "I don't know that there's a 16-point touchdown that's going to be possible right there," Harbaugh said.  

At 3-1, fully healthy and flying high at the time, Harbaugh was understandably cocky. But fast forward to this past Sunday and the Ravens are now 8-7, having lost four straight, including the latest 41-21 romp at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. While still in the playoff picture, Baltimore's season is officially hanging in the balance, and Harbaugh suddenly isn't so brash anymore. 

This would explain why, immediately following the final whistle, Harbaugh could be seen at midfield asking Bengals head coach Zac Taylor "why did you run that play right there?" The play in question occurred just after the two-minute warning, when on 3rd and 4 Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow scrambled out of the pocket and hit running back Joe Mixon down the right sideline for a 52-yard gain, which gave Burrow an astounding 525 passing yards on the day, good enough for the fourth-most in a single game in NFL history. A meaningful number, no? Harbaugh, apparently, didn't think so:

Ahh, ain't no fun when the rabbit got the gun, is it John? As a handful of astute Twitter users/Dolphins fans pointed out, this is the same coach who ran a fake punt against Miami up 35-3 in Week 1 in 2019, and in that same game kept Lamar Jackson in to the very end of a 59-10 curbstomping. Interesting. 

Burrow, whose Bengals lost a combined 65-6 in two matchups against Baltimore a year ago, got some extra satisfaction out of the blowout:

Revenge is sweet. In two games against the Ravens this year, the Bengals won by a combined score of 82-38. Ouch.