John Harbaugh didn’t want the Ravens to go into overtime Sunday in Pittsburgh.
After Lamar Jackson hit Sammy Watkins on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds remaining, the Ravens had the option to kick a game-tying PAT. Instead, Harbaugh opted for two and victory.
NFL PLAYOFF PICTURE: Updated Rankings for Week 13
Jackson had tight end Mark Andrews wide open on the right floor, but his pass was a bit wide and Andrews couldn’t catch him with one hand. The Steelers got the back side kick back and won the game 20-19.
– NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2023
MORE: Why Every Washington Soccer Team Is Worth A Lot To Taylor Heinicke’s Wallet
Harbaugh said after the game that due to injuries to the Ravens’ cornerbacks, he didn’t want to give Pittsburgh a chance for a drive in overtime.
“I tried to win the game right there. We were pretty much out of corners at the time, so it was an opportunity to try to win the game right there,” he said.
MORE: Lions overcome questionable Dan Campbell call to stun Vikings in first win
The Ravens entered the game with shallow corner depth due to injuries. All five cornerbacks were listed as questionable, although four of them (Anthony Averett, Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey and Tavon Young) played. Marcus Peters will be out for the season with a torn ACL.
Inactive for Ravens vs. Steelers: RB Ty’Son Williams, WR Miles Boykin (finger), TE Nick Boyle (knee), OLB Jaylon Ferguson (illness), CB Chris Westry (thigh),
So out of the Ravens’ five questionable CBs, four of them (Humphrey, Averett, Young, J.Smith) will play.
– Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) December 5, 2023
Humphrey was injured during the game. Harbaugh said he will need an MRI and hinted at a possible long absence. It was later reported after the game that Humphry would be out of season.
#Crows CB star Marlon Humphrey is suspected of being off-season with a shoulder injury, according to sources. A significant blow to the Baltimore defense. Other.
– Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 6, 2023
MORE: Gardner Minshew in near-perfect Eagles debut
The injury contributed to the Ravens’ struggles defensively in the second half. Baltimore held the Steelers to three points in the first half, but Pittsburgh scored 17 points in its final three series of the game as the defense began to wear out.
The final points came with a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Diontae Johnson and a 2-point conversion to tight end Pat Freiermuth, which put Pittsburgh up 20-13 with 1:48 to play.
Baltimore did what it had to do in response, driving 60 yards on eight plays for the touchdown before falling inches from taking the lead. Harbaugh said everything turned out the way he expected, outside of the outcome.
“You saw the play. I mean, it’s so close. I play inches. You saw Al Pacino’s speech on ‘Any Sunday,’ right? There you go. That’s football. So close,” Harbaugh said.
MORE: Chiefs vs Broncos live score, updates, recaps
The victory was pivotal for the Steelers, who move to 6-5-1 on the season and remain in pursuit of the playoffs. The Ravens (8-4) remain top in the AFC North, staying ahead of the second-place Bengals, who lost to the Chargers on Sunday but fell to third in the AFC.