The fourth down pass falls incomplete and with two seconds left on the clock, all that remains is a worthless kneel-down to run the remaining time off of the clock to put the win in the books. This was the scenario at the end of the Baltimore Ravens 23-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns last night. But no, that was not the end of the game, as right after the play ended, Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger decided to shove Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who earned an Academy Award for his falling down routine, resulting in a 15-yard personal foul penalty.
That moved the ball from the 33 to the 18-yard line and gave Cleveland one more chance at a game-tying touchdown. The fact that the second chance didn't succeed was not relevant to the question as to what in the world was Kruger thinking? Perhaps the better question might be what was Kruger not thinking?
The game was basically over and you felt the need to take a part of the play personal and put your own pride ahead of that of the team. This behavior is totally unacceptable and if Kruger does not get the reaming out of his life after the game, then he will never understand the level of idiot he lowered himself on the play.
Sure, it didn't end up changing anything, but what if it had? What if the second chance resulted in a touchdown and the Browns went on to beat the Ravens in overtime? Could that have possibly made the difference between the Ravens making the playoffs or not? Ask the Green Bay Packers what one play at the end of the game can do to an entire season.
Kruger needs to apologize to his teammates as well as the fans for his boorish behavior. Infractions such as this have no place on a team that is focused on making and winning a Super Bowl. In a league where every game counts, one play can e the difference between success and failure. Kruger was lucky his teammates covered his back enough to make sure that mistake was inconsequential, but further stupidity should be unacceptable to head coach John Harbaugh.
Grow up, Pauen