Twitter reactions to Ravens’ appalling end-of-game clock management

Ravens. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Ravens. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens and frustrating play clock issues just go hand in hand this year.

First, it was costly delay of game penalties that stunted offensive drives. Now, it’s….more costly clock management decisions that led to the Ravens’ demise on Sunday night.

The Ravens fell to the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card round, 24-17, but this didn’t feel like the team’s other hopeless games. Baltimore actually had a chance.

Despite a heart-sinking Bengals’ fumble recovery and despite being down a score in the fourth quarter, the Ravens had the ball and great field position with three minutes left in the game and two timeouts.

Head coach John Harbaugh had used the clock in his favor for most of the game, keeping the ball in the Ravens’ hands for as much as possible as the team pounded the rock over and over again. It’s how they scored their first touchdown, which consisted of 17 plays for 75 yards that ate up 10 minutes of the clock.

Yet when the Ravens needed time the most, they fumbled the bag. Baltimore reached Cincy’s 28-yard line with a minute and 17 seconds left on the clock, and the team drew up a play for J.K. Dobbins who ran it for 11 yards.

Did Harbaugh call a timeout after that? Nope. The Ravens huddled, letting the clock tick all way down to 34 seconds before snapping the ball again.

In fact, the Ravens left two timeouts on the board until the eight-second mark. They were about to be called for a delay of game penalty several seconds earlier, but Cincinnati’s head coach Zac Taylor actually bailed them out by calling a timeout himself for a curious reason.

The Ravens might have thought they were being strategic by running down the clock at the end of the game. They essentially treated Joe Burrow as a Mahomes-eque quarterback who was capable of driving down the field for a game-winning score in 13 seconds or fewer.

Harbaugh was also likely considering the possibility of going for a two-point conversion attempt to win the game in regulation time; however, that only works if the Ravens score a touchdown a first.

Twitter reacts to Ravens’ horrific play clock management at the end of Wild Card game

Harbaugh told reporters that he planned to save the timeouts for opportunities in the red zone — that proved more challenging than expected as the Ravens got called for an offensive holding penalty and were backed up to Cincinnati’s 27-yard line with just 22 seconds to go.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the Ravens’ atrocious handling of the play clock.

As is clearly evident, Harbaugh’s clock management tactics did not impress much of the NFL community, and the Ravens failed to muster the game-tying touchdown in the waning moments of a crucial playoff matchup.

Next. Ravens leap for greatness and free-fall in heartbreaking Wild Card loss to Bengals. dark

Maybe Harbaugh could do a little reading in the offseason, specifically taking a look at this informative piece from The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz called “The Art of Calling a Timeout.