Those Harbaughs. So clever. The Ravens led the Bengals by five points with 11 seconds to go in the fourth quarter on Sunday afternoon, but they faced a dilemma. The Ravens went into punt formation with Sam Koch taking the snap from Morgan Cox, but they didn't want to actually kick the ball and risk a tocuhdown either by block or the more traditional return. So, John Harbaugh decided to simply never kick it. However, 11 seconds is a long time to stall in this person's NFL, so what did coach Harbaugh have the Ravens do to kill time? Punt protection intentionally broke the rules by engaging in obvious holding penalties while Koch ran around with the ball. The thing is, it worked, because Koch just kept drifting back as the seconds ticked, and nobody got near him until time had expired and Koch stepped out of bounds.
It cost the Ravens two points, but that's it. They still won 19-14. It's what you might call a legal-illegal, and it was pretty darned genius. The Harbaugh Stall.
There were, like, at least six or seven legitimate tackles happening there. Interesting bit of football trivia: the team with the ball isn't supposed to tackle! Another funny thing: The officials obviously didn't want to throw a flag, because they waited forever to do so. If you're wondering why there wasn't one more untimed play, or why the game wasn't somehow otherwise extended or how Harbaugh knew it wouldn't be, here's how Baltimore was able to get away with it:
In Baltimore, foul that occurs in the field of play by offense doesn't extend the period. If foul was in end zone & created safety, it would
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 27, 2016
Do you have to be a lawyer in order to coach or officiate in the NFL? No, but it might help.