Eric Weddle’s post-victory ice cream sundaes have become nearly as iconic as his bushy beard.
The veteran safety typically treats himself to a massive bowl of ice cream with all the fixings every time the Ravens win, but that victory dessert was in question after Saturday’s 23-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Weddle’s dropped fourth-quarter interception was still gnawing at him after the game, and he didn’t know whether to indulge in his typical post-win routine.
“I don’t know if I deserve ice cream after that one,” Weddle said. “I’m debating on whether or not to go get on the jugs when I get home.”
Weddle did end up enjoying in the big bowl of ice cream. After all, the Ravens still won and they’re one victory away from the playoffs.
But Weddle was still kicking himself for the missed interception that came with a little more than seven minutes left in the game. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett sailed a pass over the head of wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and Weddle was in perfect position to come up with an NFL-leading seventh interception of the season.
An interception would have likely sealed a win for the Ravens, but the pass bounced off Weddle’s hands and the Colts ended up getting a field goal on the drive.
“It’s unfortunate,” Weddle said. “You never want it to, especially in a situation like that, where it could have ended the game. But, shoot, I’m not prideful. Everyone gets humbled. Just have to get back to work. We never want those things to happen, but we came away with the win.”
Weddle’s dropped interception wasn’t the only one on the night, as fellow Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley also had a pass bounce off his hands earlier on the same drive. The miscues were uncharacteristic for a Ravens defense that leads the league in takeaways, and Weddle and Mosley are two of the team’s best at coming up with the football.
The missed chances kept the Colts in the game, and left the Ravens lamenting the mistakes even on a night where they won a critical late-season game.
“We had a few plays left out there,” Mosley said. “We missed an interception, and we had the one sack that we missed, and it was a bend-but-don’t-break mentality. We know what kind of defense we are. When we do our job, all 11 of us, it’s hard for a team to score.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged that he made a mistake by declining a third-down holding penalty to bring up fourth down, but the Colts converted on fourth-and-1. He said he "kicked himself" because he should have declined it.
Harbaugh also admitted “it wasn’t our best game on defense,” but pointed out that the unit also got the game-sealing stop. The Colts had a chance to take the lead after Sam Koch had a punt blocked, but second-year cornerback Maurice Canady batted down a fourth-down pass to save the victory in the final minutes.
Harbaugh awarded Canady with a game ball after the win.
“We’ve talked about it since the first day of offseason workouts – we need to finish,” Weddle said. “We need to be a defense that when the game's on the line, we need to be out there and be a team to win the game. It’s been on our minds for an entire season.”
The topic of finishing will certainly be brought up again this week, as the Ravens prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals in a playoff-clinching scenario. The Ravens will punch their postseason ticket with a win over the Bengals, but the Ravens also expect their division foes to give them a real challenge in the regular-season finale.
“It’s whatever it takes at this point in the season,” Weddle said. “Individually, you have plays that you wish you could have back. At the end of the day, if I would have gotten that pick, and we still lose, what’s the point?
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team and what we are striving to do. It’s about making the playoffs and going on a Super Bowl run.”
Check out the scenes from M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens host the Colts in week 16 of the NFL season!