Peter Schmuck

The Ravens played a very dangerous game very dangerously

If you know what's good for you, you won't even think about what might have happened on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. You'll just focus on the Ravens' upcoming showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Christmas Day.

That's what's important now -- not the inexplicable play call that led to an inconceivable interception that set up a unlikely Philadelphia Eagles comeback that almost ended any real hope of the Raven reaching the playoffs.


Even John Harbaugh called it the "all-time worst call ever," after Joe Flacco threw a fourth quarter interception deep in Eagles territory that provided the only avenue for them to stage the dramatic comeback that fell just two yards short of an absolutely devastating defeat for the Ravens.

Harbaugh said he would take responsibility for it because he should have vetoed it, but it's still hard to believe that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called the pass over the middle that was picked off by linebacker Jordan Hicks at the 6-yard line and returned 34 yards to keep hope alive for the Eagles.


It's also hard to believe that Flacco, who also committed a second-quarter turnover that led to an Eagles touchdown, admitted after the game that he didn't change the call because he thought it was pretty cool his offensive coordinator was giving him a chance to throw a third touchdown pass.

It was such a strange answer that after the post-game press conference someone in the room wondered aloud whether Flacco had himself on his fantasy team.

How crazy was it? The Ravens were up by 10 points with 6 1/2 minutes to play and had first down at the Eagles' 11. At the very worst, they figured to run a couple of plays, let the clock tick down to four minutes or so and try a chip-shot field goal that would have left the Eagles 13 points down and pretty much done.

Instead, the Eagles had time to score a field goal and a touchdown, and you don't want to think about what the next week or two would have been like at the Under Armour Performance Center if the Ravens' season had -- for all intents and purposes -- ended because of that play call.

Instead, you get to hope for a very Merry Christmas in Pittsburgh.