The Week 4 Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens matchup lived up to expectations. This was a battle between two AFC contenders led by two MVP candidates at quarterback who can put up points in a hurry. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they had another second-half collapse that sent them back to the loss column, as the Bills escaped with a 23-20 victory thanks to a game-winning Tyler Bass field goal.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh took some heat after the game, as he opted to go for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, instead of kicking a field goal to break the 20-20 tie. Instead of a touchdown or incompletion, Bills defensive back Jordan Poyer picked off Lamar Jackson's pass in the end zone, and set Buffalo up for its game-winning drive at the 20-yard line.
With the game still tied at 20 apiece following the interception, the Bills just needed a field goal to win, and their offense took every second off the clock before that game-winning boot.
Naturally, Harbaugh was asked after the game about the decision to not kick the field goal late in the fourth quarter. Here was his reasoning:
"Well I felt like it gave us the best chance to win the game, because seven (points), the worst that happens is if they go down and score -- and I think we'll get them stopped -- but if they go down the field and score a touchdown, the worse thing that can happen is that you're in overtime. But you kick a field goal there, now it's not a three-down game anymore, it's a four-down game. You're putting your defense at a disadvantage because they've got four downs to convert all the way down the field. And a chance to again score seven, and then you lose the game on a touchdown.
"The other thing you think of is they're going to get the ball at the two-yard line, so we're very confident in our defense. Defense's ability to stop them down there with the ball on the two-yard line so we got them backed up if we don't get it. Didn't turn out that way, unfortunately, and we lost the game. So hindsight, you can take the points. But if you look at it analytically, understand why we did it."
The Ravens clearly have a ton of trust in their offense, and they would have looked pretty smart had they converted. Tight end Mark Andrews said afterward that he appreciates the kind of trust Harbaugh has in this unit, and that it will convert next time.
"I have a lot of confidence in this offense, this team, the guys that we have to be able to make that play right there," Andrews said. "So I love that coach trusts us to be able to do that, and hopefully put the game away. So hopefully we get another opportunity like that, and we'll be ready to go."