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The Ravens were correct on their first two of three challenges in a 17-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, upping their success rate to .500 (five of 10) on the season.
But, their final challenge was nearly debilitating, because it robbed the Ravens of two timeouts with the game still in reach.
Head coach John Harbaugh was unsuccessful in the fourth quarter with a decision to challenge a spot on the Colts’ final drive. Quarterback Peyton Manning found Reggie Wayne on third-and-1, and Wayne reached to the first-down marker with cornerback Lardarius Webb hanging on to his foot.
Harbaugh called for a timeout before an initial measurement, and then an eventual measurement showed the Colts made it by inches. When a replay confirmed the conversion, it cost the Ravens a way to stop the clock with just over two minutes left.
“I was trying to flip the timeout into a challenge, and they wouldn’t let me do it,” explained Harbaugh. “They were right in not letting me do it. I tried to get too much done in that situation. That was a bad job by me, in that situation.”
But, that wasn’t all the challenge controversy.
In the second quarter, Harbaugh tossed a challenge flag when Wayne dragged his feet near the sideline hauling in a 15-yard pass.
After conferring briefly with the officials regarding what he was specifically challenging, Harbaugh was allowed to pick up the hanky.
“The decision, in the [second] quarter, to pick it up was a situation where [what] I was challenging – they had ruled differently,” Harbaugh said. “I thought it was good communication. I appreciated the communication on it, and that’s what that was.”