The Baltimore Ravens committed a minor faux pas to end their 23-7 victory over the Denver Broncos.
After an interception with three seconds remaining in the double-digit win, the Ravens didn’t perform the perfunctory kneels — the safe gentleman’s agreement that usually closes out contests. Instead, Lamar Jackson ran to the left edge before sliding down after earning five yards.
The reason for the run play was to keep Baltimore’s 100-yard rushing streak alive at 43 games, tying the record set by the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1974-77. The Ravens sat at 97 rushing yards before the final play. Coach John Harbaugh said keeping the streak alive was meaningful for his club.
“One hundred percent my call,” he said, via the team’s official website. “That’s one of those things that’s meaningful. It’s one of those things that, as a head coach, you’ve got to be mindful of your team and your players and your coaches and what it means to them.
“It’s a very, very tough record to accomplish and it’s a long-term record. I’m not going to say it’s more important than winning the game, for sure. It’s certainly not. But as a head coach, I think you do that for your players and you do that for your coaches and that’s something they’ll have for the rest of their lives.”
The 102 rushing yards is the fewest in a game Jackson has started.
Jackson himself wasn’t so worried about the record, which he’s helped spearhead.
“I’m happy we got the [win],” Jackson said. “I’m not going to lie. I didn’t even care about the record.”
That the Ravens needed a final play to hit the century mark underscores several facts: 1. The Broncos defense remains good. 2. The Ravens are still trying to find the right combination out of the backfield after injuries decimated the group. And — perhaps most importantly — 3. Jackson won the game with his arm.
Jackson showed again Sunday that he can beat good defenses throwing the ball, compiling 316 yards passing on 22-of-37 with an 8.5 yards per attempt average, 1 TD and no interceptions.
The Ravens can break the 100-yard rushing record next Monday night against an Indianapolis Colts defense that has allowed 114 yards per game and 4.2 yards per attempt on the ground through four games.
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