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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh fourth-down decision vs. Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills circled the wagons in their Week 4 win against the Baltimore Ravens.

As it is in every comeback, there is more than one thing at play. That was the case in this 23-20 final.

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With the game tied at 20 and just over four minute left, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh decided to go for it. His team was at Buffalo’s goal line and he opted not to kick the field goal to put them ahead.

As the story went, Bills safety Jordan Poyer picked off Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Buffalo went on to win the game as time expired on a kick of their own.

Hindsight is always 20-20, especially in the NFL. Harbaugh still had to explain his decision. Essentially, Harbaugh said the talent the Bills had made the difference–On both sides of the ball.

“I felt like it gave us the best chance to win the game because seven [points], the worst that happens is if they go down the field and score – and I think we’ll get them stopped – but if they go down the field and score a touchdown, the worst thing that can happen is you’re in overtime. But you kick a field goal there, now it’s not a three-down game anymore, it’s a four-down game,” Harbaugh said via Ravens Wire. “You’re putting your defense at a disadvantage because they’ve got four downs to convert all the way down the field and a chance to again score seven, and then you lose the game on a touchdown.”

A complex answer to a difficult decision by Harbaugh.

On that throw by Jackson, Poyer reflected that he actually had been beaten on the play.

Poyer noted that Ravens receiver Devin Duvernay was open, but in a way, Poyer gave a shoutout to Buffalo front.

Jackson was forced out of the pocket and was on the move. That caused him to miss Duvernay, giving Poyer time to make a play on the ball.

“He was wide open,” Poyer said via video conference. “Lamar didn’t see him at first. I peeked back at Lamar, and he was scrambling. And as soon as I peeked at [Duvernay], he was kind of raising his hands up like he wanted the ball. So, I just took off, and Lamar saw him open and he kind of floated one in the air and I just went to go make play on it.”

A total team effort for the Bills–both on this controversial snap and throughout their entire comeback effort.

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