Instead, Romo and coach Jason Garrett didn’t do anything.
They just let the clock run down to 4 seconds and they called time-out. Can you imagine what we would say and do in Baltimore if Joe Flacco did that at the end of a game?
With Bailey on the left hash mark, he wasn’t in the straight-on position that most kickers prefer, particularly with the wind swirling in the south end of the stadium. He tugged the 51 yard effort just left and the Ravens came out on top, somehow, 31-29.
(This is where we all would have grilled John Harbaugh for a week for not “icing” the kicker, since the Ravens had a time-out remaining, but it didn’t matter.)
Maybe Harbaugh knew something that we didn’t.
Perhaps he knew that despite not having several key defensive players — most notably Lardarius Webb, Ray Lewis and Jimmy Smith — for that final four minutes of regulation, his team would somehow escape with an unlikely win.
Who knows, maybe John is borrowing a page from the Buck Showalter handbook and just letting the chips fall where they may during the game. Showalter always had that look of “whatever happens, happens…” Maybe Harbs is employing that theory now, hence his decision to not call time-out as Bailey approached his game-winning kick.
Whatever — it worked.
It might have taken a miracle…and they were awfully lucky…but Harbaugh’s Ravens are 5-1. You can go back through NFL history and look at teams that are 5-1 after six weeks and most of them — I’d guess 93% without looking it up — qualify for post-season play.
I won’t go as far as to say this Ravens team has a playoff berth locked up. We’ll see if they wear their big boy pants in Houston next Sunday when they take on the Texans. A victory over Matt Schaub and Company would go a long to erasing the foul odor of last week’s 9-6 “thriller” in Kansas City and today’s Atlantic City Special over Dallas. But a 5-1 start requires quite a collapse to not at least reach the 10-win mark. Hell, with the stinky nature of the AFC North this season, I’m betting 9-7 might be good enough to raise another banner in Baltimore.
In the end, like virtually any other win, you just file this away in the “W” folder and move on to next week.
There aren’t any style points in the NFL.
No one gets a few extra points taken off their winning percentage because they backed into a win at home against a team that is now 2-3.
You can look at the standings today and it says: RAVENS 5-1
It doesn’t say: RAVENS 5-1 (but really they should be 4-2)
A win is a win.
And a loss, as Dallas found out, is a loss, especially when you give away the game like they did in Baltimore on Sunday.