Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth almost urged John Harbaugh not to take a shot on the fourth and long-1 of his own 43.
The Ravens led the Chiefs 36-35 and the Sunday Night Football team felt it was unwise to risk giving Patrick Mahomes the ball on the wrong side of the 50s and a minute left.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
But it’s 2021, where the conventional wisdom of football has given way to a bunch of healthy analysis seasoned with a spoonful of intuition.
Revenge of the nerds, if you will.
Notoriously risk-averse coaches no longer see the 4 on the sideline down as a green light to automatically send the relief team.
As recently as last week, NFL teams made 52 conversions for fourth place, the highest single-week total in league history. Twenty-five of them were successful.
So, “don’t discount the possibility that you go for that,” Collinsworth suggested.
“No, you don’t,” Michaels retorted.
“It’s going to be a hell of a phone call, though. “
That was certainly the case.
As the seasoned broadcast duo debated the issue, the camera caught Harbaugh screaming for Lamar Jackson’s attention.
Finally, he ripped off his helmet and entered the field.
His lips could be read: “Lamar, do you want to go?”
Of course he did.
Collinsworth and Micheals were still not convinced.
“And Lamar Jackson is going back on the field and they are going,” Collinsworth said incredulously. “Or at least the hard count.”
“Alright,” Michaels said. “At least line up.”
“But they amassed a yard at will all night,” Collinsworth added on a night when the Ravens had already covered 250 yards and three touchdowns. “You’ve got that monster offensive line. You’ve got an extra offensive lineman in there.”
“You just have to make sure you don’t jump” offside, Michaels said, still looking unconvinced.
Jackson wasn’t trying to get the Chiefs offside. He was trying to get down first, and he took the shotgun 5 meters deep and sliced the middle behind four large bodies for a gain of 2 meters.
“And Jackson will get THE FIRST DOWN!” Michaels screamed as Harbaugh was hugged on the sidelines. “And actually end the game.”
“The guts of a sailor,” exclaimed Collinsworth. “He made the hardest call a head coach can make and is watching him. He knows it. That decision just won the football game. They are throwing this thing back to Patrick Mahomes, who knows what is going on. “Four offensive linemen left side of center. And Lamar Jackson with the game on the line says no one but me is touching him.
A knee down and the return from 11 points behind in the fourth quarter was complete, thanks to two incredible plays, the fire touchdown by Jackson and linebacker Odafe Oweh forced the fumble and recovery with 1:13 remaining which went hit – gave Clyde Edwards-Helaire his first career fumble.
Jackson inflicted Mahomes his first loss in September after 11 wins, sending the Chiefs to third place in the AFC West behind Denver and Las Vegas, both 2-0.
“What a game,” Michaels said. “One of the few times the Ravens were an underdog at home. And a crazy game ends like it does with a fumble and then a fourth-place conversion. A beauty tonight.”
“Are advertisers allowed to applaud?” Collinsworth asked. “I would like to applaud for this game. It was something else.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
In week 2 there were 35 conversion attempts on the fourth try, 13 of which were successful.
The 44% success rate should attract even more bets in fourth place.
Of the 32 games on the books, only three did not include any fourth down tries – the Cowboys-Buccaneers and Dolphins-Patriots games in opening weekend and the Texans-Browns game in Week 2.
While none was as crucial as the Ravens’ challenge to seal the game, the Denver Broncos converted all five of them into two games, including three in a Week 1 win over the Giants. .
The teams are more aggressive than before, as evidenced by the 87 attempts to convert to fourth place so far.
“We have looked at it carefully over the years. Everyone remembers the ones that worked, ”Broncos coach Vic Fangio said last week.
The ones who didn’t tend to stick in the minds of the coaches.
“The best example I can give you is that the Ravens were 14-2 in the regular season two years ago and they lost their playoff game,” said Fangio. “They had a hell of a team. They were aiming for fourth base more than anyone. They have a quarterback that allows them to do more things, but in two of the three losses they suffered, they wanted it on fourth base. has been stopped several times and this was a major factor in two of their losses, including the playoffs.
“It’s good when it works and everyone loves it, but sometimes there’s another side to it.”