There’s often a fine line between brilliance and stupidity, a fine line between stunning victory and devastating loss. Ravens coach John Harbaugh danced all over that line last night and tricked Jim Schwartz in the process.
With 1:17 left, the Ravens trailed 16-15. They were at the 44-yard line. They had one timeout left. What followed next was nothing short of an Academy Award.
Harbaugh kept his offense on the field as precious seconds ticked away. He pretended to be confused. His partner in crime, Joe Flacco, also feigned bewilderment.
The Lions had three timeouts. They needed to stop the clock. They needed to protect themselves should the Ravens make a long field goal. Jim Schwartz was utterly confused.
You see, Harbaugh planned on kicking the field goal all along. He planned it before third down. He let time wind down before calling his final timeout.
He admitted as much in the post game
— Zac Snyder (@ZacSnyder) December 17, 2013
The rest, they say, is history. Justin Tucker went on to kick a 61-yard field goal. Yes, John Harbaugh played for a 60+ yard field goal on the road. Again, fine line between brilliance and stupidity.
Instead of the Lions getting the ball back with 1:13 left and 2 timeouts, they got it with :38 and 3 timeouts. A huge, huge difference. A game-changing difference. A difference that may very well cost Jim Schwartz his job.