Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh defended the decision to attempt four fourth-down conversions and three two-point conversations in their loss Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Ravens were 3-for-4 on fourth-down attempts and 2-for-3 on two-point conversions. Harbaugh said Monday the plan was to be aggressive against the Chiefs.
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“I have a good understanding of the numbers,” he said. “It’s very detailed and well thought out. I think I was pretty clear about it last night, but we’re standing by our decisions. Our decisions gave us the best chance to win the game in that particular game.”
He added: “These are not league average choices. These are determined by this game and for this game specifically, in that venue, weather is even factored into it. There’s a lot of factors that go into it that are mathematically calculated. And that’s why we did it. It wasn’t a field position game. It was a possession game. And making the most of each possession was what counted and that’s what we were attempting to do and for the most part we did a really good job of it.”
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Harbaugh defended going for two points when the team was down 11 in the fourth quarter. The Ravens failed to convert the two-point try. Harbaugh said cutting the lead down to nine points would have helped their chance of winning the game.
“Getting it to 9 gives you a much better chance of winning,” he said. “You still have a chance to do that with the second two. And if for some reason they happen to kick a field goal or score a touchdown, it also enhances your odds. So while you may think getting to 10 is the thing to do, it’s the thing to do if you want to go to overtime. It’s not the thing to do if you want to win the game in regulation, and that’s what we were trying to do.”
The Ravens’ aggressiveness during the game was an attempt to counter the Chiefs’ fast scoring.
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Kansas City outscored Baltimore 23-0 in the second quarter. Two of their touchdown drives came on five plays or less. Eight of their scoring drives this season have come on five plays or less.
Baltimore, now 2-1 on the season, will play their first divisional game against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.