The previously undefeated Denver Broncos suffered their first loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, 23-7. Lamar Jackson and Co. were playing for more than just their third straight win, however; they were also playing for NFL history.
While the game was controlled completely by the Ravens due to Teddy Bridgewater suffering a concussion in the first half, John Harbaugh's team was eyeing something more. The Ravens entered this contest with 42 straight 100-yard rushing games -- one shy of tying the 1974-77 Pittsburgh Steelers' record, per the Baltimore Sun. While their win was never in doubt, with just seconds left on the clock, Harbaugh instructed his quarterback Jackson to rush left instead of just taking the typical kneel down, in order to tie the NFL record.
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was apparently wary of the record, and was visibly upset that insult was added to injury.
WATCH: The Broncos sideline was enraged as the Ravens decided to run the ball on the final play of the game rather than take a knee. #9sports #BroncosCountry pic.twitter.com/QshWgAbkpX— 9NEWS Sports Denver (@9NEWSSports) October 4, 2021
On the final play of the game, Jackson rushed left for five yards, which brought the Ravens' rushing total to 102 yards. It was just icing on the cake for what was Baltimore's third straight win.
"I thought it was kinda bull****, but I expected it from them," Fangio told reporters on Monday. "37 years in pro ball I've never seen anything like that."
Fangio said that he expected it because he knew how Harbaugh and Co. "operate." He also said that for the Ravens, player safety is secondary. Harbaugh was surprised to hear Fangio's comments, and addressed them in his Monday press conference.
"I thought we were on good terms," Harbaugh said, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. "We had a nice chat before the game. But I promise you, I'm not going to give that insult one second of thought. What's meaningful to us is not necessarily meaningful to them."
In the postgame press conference on Sunday, Harbaugh said it was "100 percent my call" to run the play.
"It's one of those things that's meaningful," Harbaugh said, via ESPN. "It's a very, very tough record to accomplish. It's a long-term record. So, I'm not going to say it's more important than winning the game, for sure. It's certainly not. But, as a head coach, I think you do that for your players and you do that for your coaches, and that's something they'll have for the rest of their lives."
What's even more humorous is that apparently Jackson was not even aware that NFL history was on the line.
"I'm not going to lie. I ain't really care about the record," Jackson said. "I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking about winning the game."
While those watching on television were made aware of the record by the CBS broadcast team, fans in the stands were surely perplexed. According to ESPN, the Ravens' streak of 100-yard rushing games dates back to Jackson's first game as their starting quarterback on Nov. 18, 2018. Baltimore has a chance to surpass the Steelers' record next Monday night, against the Indianapolis Colts.