OWINGS MILLS, Md. — For the first time in the 2019 season, coach John Harbaugh addressed the media after a loss.
In the team’s 33-28 loss, the Ravens dug themselves too deep a hole to climb out of, dropping to 2-1 on the year.
Here are a few takeaways from Harbaugh’s fourth Monday press conference of the season.
Harbaugh wasted little time defending his decisions to go for two points, and go for it on fourth down, multiple times in the game.
The Ravens went for two points three times on Sunday — and were stopped on all three conversion attempts. Still, Harbaugh stands by his decisions to be aggressive.
“These are determined by this game and for this game specifically in that venue,” Harbaugh explained. “It wasn’t a field position game. It was a possession game, and making the most of each possession is what mattered.”
The Ravens' first conversion attempt came after to a Kansas City penalty, and the third was to cut the lead to three points at the end of the game.
The one drawing ire from Ravens fans, however, was the decision to go for two points down 30-19.
“Getting it to nine gives you a much better chance of winning than taking it to OT,” Harbaugh said. “You still have a chance to do that with the second two. And if, for some reason, they happen to kick a FG or score a TD, it also enhances your odds.”
Harbaugh was adamant that he wouldn’t change moving forward, specifically when it comes to his aggressiveness — or analytical mindset — shown on Sunday.
The Ravens had a golden opportunity taken away from them Sunday when a crucial interception was overturned after Tony Jefferson was called for pass interference.
“It’s no question it was a bad call in the heat of battle, in my opinion,” Harbaugh said. “But that’s not what gets it overturned. Even if you think it’s a bad call as a coach, which is the only reason I say it’s a bad call, they make the call they make and you live with it.”
But Harbaugh knows the decision — even if not a penalty — was still unlikely to get overturned.
“Whether you think he’s playing the ball or not, whether you think the contact impacts the receiver or not,” Harbaugh said. “Not one of those has been overturned by New York. What we’d have been doing by challenging is throwing away 40 seconds.”
Pass Rush Problems
The Ravens seem happy with Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee’s production at the outside linebacker spots. It’s elsewhere they’re having problems.
Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams have played in three games and combined for just five tackles and one quarterback hit. They have no sacks.
With the secondary’s injuries to Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith, the pass rush could become a major point of concern over the next few weeks without improvement.
Harbaugh held nothing back in discussing his disappointment with the two younger pass rushers.
“We need to get more pressure and more sacks from those guys,” Harbaugh said. “They’ll probably tell you they need more reps. I would say earn more reps by doing something about it.”
The Ravens' most impactful part of the season might be upcoming.
With three straight AFC North teams on the docket, the Ravens have a chance to grab firm control on the division over the next three weeks. That’ll start with the Browns on Sunday.
With a 2-1 record, the Ravens hold a one-game lead over the Browns and a two-game lead over the Steelers and Bengals. Should the Ravens sweep those three, or even go 2-1, they’ll be sitting in prime position by the end of October.
But that first starts with Cleveland.
“The Browns are excellent,” Harbaugh said. “They have tremendous talent. They play hard. You’ve seen that defense fly around. It will be a big challenge for us.”
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