Amid the madness that ensued during the Ravens’ 31-25 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night, it might have been easy to forget how the Ravens fell short of history.
The Ravens’ streak of consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards was snapped at 43, keeping them tied with the 1974-77 Pittsburgh Steelers for the longest in NFL history. The streak started Nov. 18, 2018, and Baltimore ranked No. 1 in the league in rushing in 2019 and 2020.
The Ravens only managed 86 rushing yards against Indianapolis, falling 14 short on a night when their quarterback set several records with his arm. Outside of Lamar Jackson, who ran for 62 yards on 14 carries, the Ravens running game was obsolete as running backs Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman and Ty’Son Williams had a combined 24 yards.
Trailing 22-3 late in the third quarter while the Colts shut down the run, the Ravens largely abandoned their rushing attack. They had 27 yards on seven attempts in the fourth quarter while Jackson had 194 yards through the air on his way to setting a franchise record with 442.
“We’ve got one win down — not running; we threw the ball,” Jackson said.
The Ravens needed one final controversial play to tie the NFL record last week against the Denver Broncos. Instead of taking a knee with a 23-7 lead and just seconds remaining, Jackson ran for 5 yards to give the team 102 for the game, extending the streak to 43 games.
Harbaugh’s decision was met with criticism from Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who said the Ravens viewed player safety as secondary. Harbaugh viewed the play as an opportunity to give the fanbase something to talk about for years.
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“The ability to see the fans, the joy on their faces, to give the fans an opportunity to talk about a record for years to come, that’s valuable, that has meaning,” Harbaugh said last Monday. “We don’t take that stuff lightly. It starts with the fans.”
With the streak snapped, the Cleveland Browns own the longest current streak of 100-yard rushing games with six. They could tie the Ravens and Steelers in Week 8 in 2023.
Jackson told the media Thursday that he doesn’t look into records. All that matters is putting points on the board and winning games.
“I’m not looking up the records and saying, ‘Dang, what record should we break this week?’ Or stuff like that, it just happened to happen,” Jackson said. “We’ve been working hard. We’re trying to get yards on the field [and] trying to score touchdowns, and we end up breaking records doing that. So, we just have to keep that mindset going and try to score.”
It was obvious when all the dust settled and the Ravens sat in first place in the AFC North with a 4-1 record, the rushing record was the last thing they were thinking about.