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Convert on fourth downs? Child please, score on first

Quarterback Joe Flacco says the offense must convert on fourth downs when opportunities arise.

Ronald Martinez

Think Madden. Nobody kicks field goals. Sam Koch and Justin Tucker, no offense, you both are a waste of a spot on my roster. I usually trade them away, bolster my backfield. Nobody I've lost to, or trumped, has taken a chance to play defense when the game is on the line. (Unless we play for Chipotle. That's another story.)

Ravens' writer Ryan Mink recently wrote a piece vocalizing Flacco's frustrations for falling short on two opportunities in the Redskins' game last Saturday. Mink noted that head coach John Harbaugh will continue to stay aggressive this go-around. He best.

Baltimore, under Harbaugh, has wamboozled our hearts over the years. He has regrets. He's defeated The Manning, Peyton, who's record is 178-85 over 16 seasons. According to my calculations, the legend lost roughly five games a year — including playoffs — that's how he looks and stays youthful in the Papa John's commercials. Fourth-and-29?! Don't. Even.

Flacco loves Harbaugh's aggro-mentality. Then again, Flacco was a sophomore in high school when Madden 2000 came out for PlayStation and Nintendo 64 consoles.

"There’s no doubt about it," he said. "When you’re an offensive guy, and you’re on the field, you want to stay out there. You want to score points for your team, and going for it on fourth down in those situations is giving you the opportunity to do that. That’s all you can ask for as a quarterback."

The Ravens failed to convert on fourth down in their opening drive when Bernard Pierce was tackled in the backfield for a one-yard loss. For the sake of argument, Jason Hatcher made his debut that night, and the Redskins' refortified line played at a high level. Still, no excuse. Rookie Lorenzo Bruiser Taliaferro's attempt was better, but went for no gain on fourth-and-1.

The final chance to do anything in life heightens and builds pressure to a roofless ceiling, but the Ravens' offensive line has no room for mistakes. If the unit can't convert now, what makes any of us fans believe that they will push back defensive lines under muddy and slushy circumstances? Wait. Instead of inching towards fourth down to move the chains again, why not we score on the first play of each possession?

That should solve everything. Check with Gary Kubiak.

"When we have those opportunities, there’s no way we can get stopped, especially twice," Flacco said. "We have to keep ourselves out there [and] we have to get points."

You know what? The next time I read Flacco's lips on T.V. they better read, "We're going for two, Coach."