In a close game that ended up being decided by less than a touchdown, it's difficult yet possible to try to pinpoint one single play that might have turned the tide one way or another to seal the win,...or the loss. In the Baltimore Ravens 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday Night Football, that one play could have easily been avoided and the outcome could have then been completely different.
Despite playing so embarrassingly poor for the first half, the Ravens only trailed 6-0 at halftime and were really only one big play away from taking the lead and winning the game. Midway through the third quarter the Jaguars were driving and on the Baltimore side of the field. The Ravens defense stiffened and the Jags were forced to punt from the Ravens 40-yard line.
Unfortunately, Ravens DE Paul Kruger got a little too anxious and ran into the Jacksonville punter for a five-yard penalty, thus moving the ball into more legitimate FG position, which kicker Josh Scobee put through the uprights for his second of what would end up being three field goals of over 50 yards on the night. Down 9-0, the Ravens were now two scores away from taking the lead instead of just one.
Baltimore did manage a TD late in the game but were still needed a FG to take the lead. Had the penalty never happened, the Ravens could have been winning 7-6, with two minutes left for Jacksonville to try to come back on a night that rookie QB Blaine Gabbert was playing even worse than Ravens QB Joe Flacco. The odds of him leading his team to victory against the best defense in football probably would have been slim and none.
We all know what happened and what didn't happen. However, when you look at one play that could have made the difference, don't look at the offensive's inability to execute what bad calling was made, or a coach's decision to try an onsides kick, but rather take a look at one dumb penalty that could have change everything and given the Ravens the "W" instead of the "L" on a night when the offense was truly "offensive."