Tale of the Tape on the Packers' strip-sack of Ravens QB Joe Flacco
Each week, blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of Ravens players and coaches, from that week's game. Today, he looks at the late-second-quarter strip-sack of Joe Flacco.
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John Harbaugh often talks about wanting his team to have an attacking mentality. The Ravens have always had that philosophy on defense, but in the past couple seasons, it has been evident on offense, too, especially late in the second quarter of games when Harbaugh pressed for points before halftime.
"I think the philosophy is basically to attack, yes. You try to do it within reason. We're never going to be reckless in what we do," Harbaugh said Sunday. "We don't want to be the kind of team that's going to play nervous, not give our guys a chance, an opportunity, to do things and make plays. We just don't want to play it like that. We're going to be an attacking, aggressive type of group. It's been good to us up until this point, so let's build our team into that. We think we can get there. We've got the right guys to do it."
In past games, we have seen Harbaugh use timeouts when opponents were going nowhere in the final 90 seconds of the half so his offense could go into the two-minute drill and drive down the field for points.
In the second quarter of Sunday's 19-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the situation was a little different, but the mentality remained the same. After Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed a field-goal attempt with 20 seconds left, giving the Ravens the ball at their 34-yard line with three timeouts in their back pocket, the Ravens would give quarterback Joe Flacco an opportunity to pass them into field-goal range.
After a first-down play that ended with an incompletion and took eight seconds off the clock, Harbaugh did not back down, keeping the ball in Flacco's hands. With 12 seconds left in the half, the Ravens lined up in their 11 personnel with Flacco in the shotgun. Running back Ray Rice stood next to him in the backfield. Wide receiver Marlon Brown was alone on the left side of the formation. Wide receiver Torrey Smith was on the right sideline. Fellow wide-out Jacoby Jones and tight end Dallas Clark were in the slot next to Smith.