Lots of positives for Ravens, but questions arise regarding Harbaugh’s late game decisions

September 26, 2011 | Peter Dilutis

Harbaugh is so fortunate that none of his starters got hurt. After all, the Ravens just won a game by 30 points. Not many people are going to think or care much about him playing his starters too long in the 4th quarter.

We live in a reactive society. The only reason that Mike Vick getting hit too much after he throws the ball has turned into a story is because he got hurt again. If Vick would have thrown for four touchdowns on Sunday but gotten hit the same amount, think he would have made those same remarks after the game? Absolutely not.

Had Joe Flacco gotten seriously injured trying to throw touchdowns up 30 points, John Harbaugh would have a lot of explaining to do. It would turn into a national story.

Ed Reed always says how he is one hit away from his career being over. Yet he’s out there going full speed in a game that was over?

The game was OVER. Play the last eight minutes 100000 times and the Rams don’t win once. Nothing flukey was going to happen.

Please, I’m just asking for one logical explanation as to why Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and any other valuable starter was still in the game late in the fourth quarter.

And once I get that explanation, please go on to explain why Flacco was actually throwing the ball? If you want to leave him in to hand the ball off to Anthony Allen, fine. But to have him throwing bombs with 1:50 left in the game up 30…I just do not know what else to even say about it.

Again, Harbaugh didn’t end up hurting his team today because no one got injured in the fourth quarter when he should have pulled his starters. But watching the fourth quarter unfold today really makes me question Harbaugh’s ability to make smart coaching decisions in obvious situations.

I almost want to say that Harbs doing what he did is like a poker player who puts all his chips in the pot over and over just to fool around. He might get everyone to fold the first couple times, but eventually he’s going to get caught.

But I can’t even make that analogy accurately because at least there is upside in that scenario. If everyone folds 10 straight times, at least the aggressive player would win a few chips and increase his bankroll. I’d call it a high-risk/low-reward act.

John Harbaugh’s actions in the fourth quarter on Sunday were of the high-risk/no-reward variety.