Why Eagles need to beat Ravens' whiny defensive coordinator


The Eagles face the Ravens this weekend for the first time since a 27-26 loss in Baltimore back in 2016.

Despite there being very little in the way of built-up animosity between these two teams, I am now desperate for the Eagles to hand Baltimore an L.

Because I need the Ravens' defensive coordinator, Don "Wink" Martindale, to quiet down.

Talking with reporters on Thursday, Martindale was asked about his reaction to the Bengals kicking a field goal with 37 seconds to go last Sunday to avoid being shut out. The Ravens won, 27-3.

Here was Martindale's dumb answer, talking about Bengals head coach Zac Taylor:

"He knew what it was because it was awful quiet when I yelled it across the field. There are some people that take that as a victory. We'll see. We'll have plenty to talk about the next time we play them."

Yeah, he's one of those guys. The "unwritten rule" guy who for some inexplicable reason takes offense to a field goal, or in baseball would bristle at a bat flip. 

Give me a break.

The Bengals kicked a field goal with 37 seconds left, down by 27 points, on a 4th & 7. If the Bengals go for it there, they're still down by at least 19 points by the time the play (and ensuing two-point conversion) ends, and that's if they scored a touchdown from the Baltimore 20-yard line. There would likely be less than 30 seconds to go at that point.


There is objectively no difference between the field goal and going for it, in terms of Martindale's obvious "playing the game the right way" strawman argument. You can even argue that kicking the field goal makes it a three-possession game, instead of a four-possession game.

But we don't need any of that. Because if you don't want your opponent to kick a field goal, you shouldn't let them get into field goal range. It's as simple as that. 

All 60 minutes count in a football game, and if your defense didn't play its hardest in the last eight minutes as Cincinnati strung together a 13-play, 55-yard drive that featured two - 2! - fourth-down conversions, maybe you should put the blame on your guys. They didn't pitch a shutout, and it's their fault, not the fault of the Bengals.

I hope the Eagles hang 40 on Martindale's defense on Sunday.