As the Cleveland Browns were moving into position for a game-winning field-goal attempt late Monday night, rush linebacker Elvis Dumervil maintained hope, knowing that the Ravens had one line of defense left.
“Honestly, I had confidence in my field-goal block team,” Dumervil said. “They’ve been great all year. I knew we had a chance. Boy, did it show up big this game.”
When Brent Urban stuffed Travis Coons’ 51-yard attempt and safety Will Hill scooped it up and sprinted 64 yards for a game-winning touchdown, the Ravens became the second team in NFL history to win on a “walk-off” blocked field goal return for a touchdown, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
They're the first team to block a kick in five straight games since the Atlanta Falcons did so in 1983.
In the 33-27 victory over the Browns, the Ravens also extended their streak of blocking a field goal or punt to five consecutive games. The latest block “was just magical,” Dumervil said.
After a game in which the team also scored on an 82-yard punt return touchdown by Kaelin Clay, Ravens coach John Harbaugh awarded a game ball to both Urban, who was playing in his first NFL game, and to special teams coordinator-associate head coach Jerry Rosburg. Rosburg, who prefers to stay out of the spotlight, had a couple of his core special teamers accept the ball instead.
“I will give credit to our guys and start with Coach Rosburg and Chris Horton, our assistant special teams coach. Those guys are phenomenal,” Harbaugh said. “They do an amazing job with coaching technique and then I’d go the leadership in the room – guys like Albert McClellan and Anthony Levine and others who do a great job in there of just taking that room and making it something that they’re proud of and they believe in. We play hard on special teams. I think it goes back to leadership. We’ve got a lot of special teams players and they’re very well coached.
“They’ve got five games in a row with a block,” Harbaugh added. “Whoever heard of that?”
Before last night, the Ravens had been the first team since the 2007 Chicago Bears to block a field-goal or punt attempt in four consecutive games.
The streak started in the fourth quarter of the 26-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, when Asa Jackson blocked a punt by Drew Butler that set up Joe Flacco’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk. The following week, against the San Diego Chargers, Jackson came around the edge and stuffed an extra-point attempt by Josh Lambo.
In the Week 9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ravens rookie outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith got a hand on Jason Myers’ 26-yard miss, contributing to the field-goal attempt going well wide. Then, against the St. Louis Rams, Lawrence Guy blocked Greg Zuerlein’s extra-point attempt in the third quarter.
Of course, all four of them took a backseat to Urban’s in terms of importance. The second-year defensive end said he had blocked two kicks while playing for the University of Virginia.
“I just wanted to drive out low and stick my hand up,” Urban said. “I’m just thankful the play happened.”
Urban is 6 feet 7. Smith and Guy are 6-4. The Ravens also use defensive end Chris Canty, who is listed as 6-7, on kick blocks.
“To have something like that happen, I don’t think you can say that’s something you plan out and prepare, to think you’re going to go five straight games with some kind of a kick block,” Harbaugh said.