All it takes is the smallest play to turn the tide of a game, and that play for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 was a blocked field goal.
With under five minutes remaining, a 37-yard attempt by Indianapolis Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship may have won Indy the game. In the moment of truth, however, Baltimore’s special teams unit, led by Calais Campbell, blocked the field goal and kept the Ravens in the game.
Lamar Jackson (who else?) would eventually lead his team to victory, but if it hadn’t been for that crucial block, the Ravens might have one less tally in the win column.
The block likely came as a shock (and relief) to Ravens fans watching this potential game-deciding attempt.
Those especially heart attack-prone fans have already ridden an emotional five-week rollercoaster from the Chiefs game to that bounce to this, and as they sat biting their nails they thought, “Are we really about to lose to the Colts?”
But defensive tackle Broderick Washington called the blocked field goal from the start.
In a post-game interview, Campbell spoke to reporters about Washington’s confident decision in the final quarter.
“I was on the field, but then I was told that [Washington] called the play, because we have six different blocks we can do, and we tried a bunch of them. So, when he called the swim, the coach went with it, and man, great call.”
Broderick Washington had utmost confidence in the Ravens’ special teams unit
This wasn’t a completely impromptu call, though. Apparently, the Ravens had been experimenting with field goal block formations in practice last week. Baltimore decided to move Washington ever so slightly out of the formation to create space for Campbell to rush the kicker.
As they say, practice makes perfect, or in this case, makes a perfectly timed blocked field goal.
Washington never lost faith in the Ravens special teams unit and had told Campbell all week that “we’re going to get a block. I promise you…You just get through there, and I’m just going to give you some space to go get a block.”
Washington’s tactical awareness combined with Campbell’s speed and size helped keep the Ravens within a touchdown and a two-point conversion of tying the game.
We could tell you the rest, but you know how the comeback story goes. Lamar Jackson’s getting pretty good at this.
The Ravens’ victory against the Colts was arguably the team’s best offensive performance of the season (perhaps solely because of Jackson), and as far as we can tell, it’s a win-win-win.
Baltimore’s defense/special teams gains a few extra fantasy points, Jackson adds another line to his growing resume, and team morale remains at an all-time high.
Death. Taxes. A blocked field goal. Jackson doing what he does best.
After Week 5, Broderick Washington might add a few things to his list of certainties in life and the NFL, and hopefully, the Ravens being perennial Super Bowl contenders becomes one of them.