The Ravens' 31-13 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs ended with some drama when the Ravens chose to throw deep against the Chiefs and then elected to use two timeouts in the final 34 seconds despite leading by 11 points.
The Ravens' final touchdown came with five seconds.
After the game, Ravens coach John Harbaugh shook hands with Kansas City coach Todd Haley and explained his reasoning behind the final touchdown. According to Harbaugh, Haley said, "I don't know about that." Harbaugh then reiterated his decision to get his young players as much work in the preseason as possible.
Harbaugh began his post-game news conference by apologizing to the Chiefs and saying the Ravens would have taken a knee in a regular-season game.
"I want to apologize to the Chiefs if they feel like we were not doing the right thing at the end of the game," Harbaugh said. "The mindset was this is preseason. If this had been regular season, we would have been on a knee. The idea in that situation is to give these young guys who work hard and who are trying to make a football team to play the whole 60 minutes and give them a chance to show what they could do."
Harbaugh added, "I know that's debatable. I know there is a point of view both ways. I understand that. But I just felt like that was the right thing to do for our players, to give them a chance to play the game out and see what they could do."
It was only seven months ago when the Ravens routed the Chiefs, 30-7, in the playoffs.
Harbaugh stressed scoring late against Kansas City on Friday wasn't personal.
"I've got a lot of respect for Todd Haley and a lot of respect for the Chiefs organization and what they do," Harbaugh said. "It was just purely about trying to get young guys in a game situation to show their abilities."
UPDATE: Quarterback Hunter Cantwell, whose 38-yard pass to rookie wide receiver LaQuan Williams with 1:18 left in the game contributed to the offense's final score of the night, agreed with Harbaugh that the ending would have been different if Friday night's contest had been during the regular season.
"The preseason is a lot different from the regular season," Cantwell said. "Normally in that situation, you try to run the clock out – run the ball or kneel it. But Coach called a couple passes. So you've got to take the reps that you can, you've got to make the most of the opportunities that you get. I was excited to hear a couple passes called."
Cantwell, who got just two snaps in the Ravens' preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday, said he hoped that the Chiefs players, coaches and fans wouldn't feel slighted by what occurred in the fourth quarter.
"I think it goes back to the difference between the preseason and the regular season," he said. "I don't know how their coaching staff took that. I know our coaching staff just looked at it as just trying to get some younger guys some reps, just trying to get a look at them. Hopefully, the Kansas City staff and fans understand that. Our team had no intention of running the score up. They just wanted to give young guys like myself an opportunity to play, and that's what happened."