Two Decisions Made Steelers’ Outcome

The Ravens could have kicked a field goal. The Steelers could have allowed a safety.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 10:39 am | Categories: 2010 Season, Mike Duffy, Week 4 at Steelers

The Ravens might not have come away with their 17-14 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday had it not been for Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron’s failed decision to pass for a touchdown on fourth down from 2 yards out of the end zone. And Head Coach John Harbaugh said he didn’t question the decision to go for the six points instead of a field goal that could have brought the game to within one.

With two minutes, 44 seconds on the clock, Steelers corner William Gay broke up a fade from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin, but even though the Ravens didn’t score the expected six points, Baltimore got the ball back with just enough time for a game-winning touchdown.

At the end of the day, letting the Steelers punt from their end zone – and the ensuing 10-yard holding penalty on Steelers special teamer Keyaron Fox – helped the Ravens get within range of an 18-yard game-winner to wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

“When we’re on the 2-yard line, I think we’ve got a chance to win the game right there,” Harbaugh said of the first shot at the end zone. “We’ve got a good football team, and I’m pretty confident in our guys. We didn’t get it done there, but we obviously got it done the next time. So, it proved that we can score in those situations.”

Meanwhile, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin could have made another game-changing decision, electing to take a safety during that final series and giving the Ravens a longer field to drive for a field goal. Instead, he tried to take time off the clock and force Baltimore to score six.

Tomlin’s decision proved to be wrong, as the Ravens’ defense held and Flacco got the ball back with enough time to hit Houshmandzadeh for the final touchdown with 32 seconds remaining.

Harbaugh did understand how Tomlin came to the decision of letting his defense – the NFL’s stingiest when it comes to points allowed – attempt to secure the victory. In Harbaugh’s mind, a safety would have been crazy.

“I’m pretty sure Mike would tell you that’s what he did – gave his defense a chance to win the game,” said Harbaugh. “And our offense came up with the plays. That happens in football. I’m proud of our guys for getting that done. There’s no way I think he should have taken a safety right there. So, he kicks it to us and we go down and kick the game winning field goal? What would they be saying right now? They’d be complaining. So, anytime you lose, that’s what happens.”

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