By Edward Lee
6:00 AM EDT, September 20, 2011
One of the criticisms aimed at the Ravens' coaching staff was the decision to settle for a Billy Cundiff 29-yard field goal with 6:58 remaining in the fourth quarter rather than go for it on fourth down-and-goal from the Tennessee Titans' 11-yard line.
Three points are always better than zero points, but since the Ravens were still trailing, 23-13, at that point, what was the harm in going for a touchdown and possibly cutting the deficit to less than a touchdown?
Coach John Harbaugh gave it a go during his post-game conference Monday at the team's training facility in Owings Mills.
"It was fourth-and-what from the what? The percentages aren’t really good," Harbaugh said. "So I figured, let’s get the three [points] right here. We’ve got about seven minutes left, we have all our timeouts. [We can] kick it down there, try to get a stop, and we’ve got enough time. If it had been fourth-and-six at the goal, then you’re going for it. My thought was to go for it, but it got to be fourth and 11. That was a little too desperate. You can probably make a case the other way, but I don’t know how better a case it would be."
Former Ravens coach Brian Billick offered his opinion on Harbaugh's decision in his weekly column for FoxSports.
"The problem, the Ravens would need two more possessions to tie the ball game, and in the end, they barely even got it back once," Billick wrote. "With it being third and 11 and having the typically dominant defense that they have, you can’t completely fault Harbaugh for taking the points. Looking back on it now, it is easy to say they should have gone for a touchdown because they only got one additional possession, but that is a call that could go either way. In the end, it didn’t matter much anyway, the Titans went right back and scored a field goal of their own, which put us right back to where we started."
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