Extra Point Block Was The Spark To Historic Comeback


Last year, the Ravens won in Cleveland on a walk-off kick-six when defensive end Brent Urban blocked a field goal and former safety Will Hill returned it for a touchdown.

This year, a blocked extra point attempt sparked the Ravens' 20-point comeback win – the second-biggest in franchise history.

Should this one be called the kick-two?

Near the end of the first quarter, defensive end Lawrence Guy blocked the extra point attempt and rookie cornerback Tavon Young picked up the deflection and took it 65 yards for two points.

At the time, it cut the Browns' lead to 20-2, but it represented a three-point swing. Instead of Cleveland taking a 21-point lead, the Browns led by just 18. Instead of needing a field goal to tie at the end of the game, Cleveland needed a touchdown.

After the game, reporters asked Ravens players and Head Coach John Harbaugh for their take on the turning point. They pointed to the blocked PAT.

"The first key is that blocked extra point," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "The fact that you can get two points on it now, that forces them to have to get into the end zone at the end."

Two years ago, the NFL changed the rules on PATs by moving them back and allowing the defense to score. The Ravens also took advantage of the rule change in the preseason when safety Anthony Levine returned an intercepted two-point conversion attempt to win in Indianapolis.

Blocking an extra point may be even harder to pull off than the interception return.

"To get a hand out, to not give up, not quit – that play right there is really a hard play. It's the toughest two seconds in football," Harbaugh said.

"Then a rookie, Tavon, to be exactly where he's supposed to be, in the exact right spot he's supposed to be in in case it gets blocked, he's right there to scoop and score. That's the kind of thing I think as a coach you feel really good about."

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Guy got good push off the snap and got his arm up. The kick bounced almost directly back and Young got it in stride. It's what the Ravens practice day in and day out when they focus on special teams.

"Every down when we go on field goal block, our goal is to block the field goal," Guy said. "That's the main thing we have our focus on is to knock them back, get our hands up, block it and try to take it back [to the end zone]."

The Ravens' special teams unit excelled at blocking kicks last year. From Weeks 7 to 11, the Ravens blocked a kick (two PATs, two field goals and one punt) in five-straight games, a feat that had not been pulled off since 1983 (Atlanta Falcons).

Baltimore is off to an earlier start this year, and will look to kick off another streak next week in Jacksonville.

"When it happened, all I could think about is, 'Hey, let's try to get another one,'" Guy said.

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