OWINGS MILLS –The Ravens are being second-guessed for some key second-half moments during Sunday’s 25-20 loss to the 49ers. Here are three situations addressed by coach John Harbaugh during his Monday press conference.
1. The Ravens called timeout on just the second play of the second half.
The Ravens could have used that timeout on their final drive, when the clock ran out on them after reaching the 49ers’ 35-yard line.
On why the Ravens burned a timeout on first-and-10, so early in the half, Harbaugh said, “We got a bad play. When you have a play that is going to be a disaster, for a certain reason, you have to use a time out.”
Harbaugh did not agree that it would have better to take a delay-of-game penalty, setting up first-and-15.
“No, we wanted to get a good play off there,” Harbaugh said. “A timeout’s not always the most important thing, especially when you’re behind. Sometimes we want to keep drives alive. You start backing yourself up with penalties, you’d be asking me that question. You’d be asking me, Why are we taking a delay-of-game penalty?’’
Unfortunately for the Ravens, they didn’t score on that drive, even after the timeout. Joe Flacco threw an interception seven plays later.
2. Harbaugh lost another timeout with 12:35 left in the game, when his challenge of Anquan Boldin’s diving 51-yard catch was unsuccessful.
The 49ers were leading, 18-13, and Boldin’s catch came on second-and-21. The completion put the 49ers deep in Ravens’ territory, part of a touchdown drive that put the 49ers ahead, 25-13.
Had Boldin’s catch been ruled incomplete, it would have been a huge change of momentum. However, Harbaugh admitted he gambled throwing the challenge flag, because had not seen a clear replay.
“I took a shot there because it was a big play,” Harbaugh said. “We couldn’t get it on the screen, we really didn’t have it on TV… We thought we had a chance to win it.”
3. On their final drive, after an 18-yard completion from Flacco to Jeremy Ross, it took the Ravens 33 seconds to line up for another snap.
The clock wound down from 1:01 to 38 seconds, and CBS commentator Rich Gannon, a former NFL MVP quarterback for the Raiders, blasted the Ravens for a lack of urgency.
Asked to respond, Harbaugh said, “They’re getting up there as fast as they can. We’ll try to improve.
“Could it have been done faster? Sure, we want to do it as fast as we possibly can. It’s not like we’re not trying to do that. Do we have to get better? Absolutely.”
Being second-guessed comes with being 1-5. The clock ran out Sunday on the Ravens. And time is running out to save their season.