The Ravens nearly completed a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback against the Packers. They came up just a point short because of a late risk that they took.
After Tyler Huntley scored a touchdown to cut the Packers’ lead to 31-30, coach John Harbaugh made the decision to go for two. The conversion failed, as Huntley couldn’t connect with Mark Andrews on a pass to the front right pylon.
The Ravens had to attempt an onside kick as a result of the convert’s failure, but the Packers recovered it with 43 seconds left to seal a 31-30 win.
MORE: Breaking down the success rate for 2-point conversions vs. extra points
The defeat, which dropped the Ravens out of the AFC North lead and out of the playoff picture all together, left some Ravens fans with a key question. Why did Harbaugh go for two in that spot?
“I thought our chances of winning there was better than overtime,” the veteran coach explained during a postgame news conference.
Harbaugh’s decision shouldn’t come as a surprise. He did the same thing two weeks ago against the Steelers after Lamar Jackson scored a touchdown with 12 seconds.
MORE: Ravens’ Tyler Huntley channels Lamar Jackson to nearly beat Packers
The Steelers were leading 20-19 but Harbaugh elected to have his team go for two and the win. Jackson was unable to connect with Andrews on a short route out of the backfield, and the Ravens lost as a result.
Though both conversions failed, Harbaugh still insists that his decisions were correct.
“To me, in both of those cases, that gave us the best chance to win,” Harbaugh said of attempting the two-point tries. “Because we didn’t win doesn’t make it not true. It’s still true now, just as true as it was then. It doesn’t always work out.”
Packers coach Matt LaFleur thought the decision was the right one as well, as he explained when asked if he would have done the same thing as Harbaugh during his postgame news conference.
“If I were on that sideline, absolutely,” LaFleur said. “I absolutely would have [gone for it]. You know, that’s what I anticipated. That’s what we anticipated as a coaching staff that they were going to go for two if they were to score. . .sure enough they did it.”
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The numbers seem to indicate that Harbaugh’s choice was a bit more of a coin-flip. ESPN’s Seth Walder pointed out that there was a “slight lean” on attempting an extra point in that spot and that if Harbaugh had really wanted to go for two, he should have done it while the Ravens were down by eight points, as they would have had another chance to convert a two-point try had their first one failed.
The error was not going for 2 down 8.
On the final decision, we had breakeven % at 51%, which means very slight lean toward PAT but can really go either way. Close enough that factors like injuries are worth considering.
Harbaugh did make a mistake. But it was on prior TD.
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) December 20, 2021
But the Ravens aren’t concerned with what others are saying. Harbaugh is comfortable with his choices and so are the Ravens players.
“That was ‘the’ decision,” Andrews said of the two-point conversion attempt. “Anyone who second-guesses that is wrong.”