The Four Point Mistake John Harbaugh Made Seven Seconds Before Halftime

SB ReportCorrespondent IIJanuary 17, 2010

With seven seconds remaining in the half and winning 10-3, the Colts (Peyton Manning) elected to take one shot at the end zone from the four yard line. With no timeouts remaining, this is clearly a chance most rookie head coaches would not be willing to take.

Jim Caldwell appeared reluctant to make the call, but the Peyton made the touchdown look easy. The Colts went into the half with a 17-3 lead.

In my opinion, John Harbaugh missed a golden opportunity to assure that the Ravens went into the half down 13-3. Peyton Manning will score 50 percent of the time in that position and Harbaugh should have thought a little outside of the box.

With seven seconds left and Peyton Manning not prone to red zone mistakes, the Colts did not have to worry about the clock running out in one play. Therefore, Caldwell should not have feared his decision backfiring.

But consider this.

If the Ravens had held each receiver coming of the line and given no one the opportunity to catch the ball, Peyton would have thrown the ball away with two seconds left on the clock. While pass interference would have been called by each official on the field, the time would not come back on the clock. Therefore, Jim Caldwell would face a goalline situation with no chance of getting two plays in. No coach is gutsy enough to pass on kicking a field goal in that situation, especially with the opportunity to go up by two scores.

It's a crazy idea, but I wonder if John Harbaugh considered it.

Maybe I played too much Madden as a child, but I think this may have worked.