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Gino Gradkowski Explains Errant Snap


The Ravens were on the 3-yard line and had a chance to win the game in regulation Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Trailing 20-17 as the final seconds of the fourth quarter ticked off the clock, they called for a third-down pass to go for the win.

But the play sputtered before it had a chance because center Gino Gradkowski snapped the ball off a muddy field at Joe Flacco's feet in the shotgun formation, disrupting the timing on the play.

"The ball got stuck in a little hole there, but that's no excuse," Gradkowski said. "We have to overcome all of that stuff."

Despite the low snap, Flacco was still able to quickly pick up the ball and run the play. The TV broadcast of the game showed an open passing lane to Torrey Smith, but it quickly closed as Flacco was recovering the snap and he ended up throwing the ball over Smith's head.

Flacco had to rush to get off a pass because the Ravens had no timeouts and he could not afford to take a sack.  

"I saw him late as I got my head up and he was definitely sitting in there," Flacco said. "He definitely found a hole in there and if I was probably able to get it to him a little quicker, we might have had a shot. I'll have to go back and look at it because by the time I got to him, everything was just converging on him and I felt like I had to put it up high and give him a chance or nobody else."

The Ravens ended up settling for a 21-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker, which tied the game at 20-20 to send it to overtime. The Bears then won the game in overtime with a 36-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.

The weather was a factor beyond just the low snap for Gradkoski on the final possession, as both teams had to deal with poor field conditions after severe weather delayed the game for nearly two hours.

The field was a mud pit by the second quarter and created problems for players to gain traction and cut, and it was also challenging at times for Gradkowski to get a good handle on the football. 

"A couple times the ball was kind of getting stuck in the mud," he said. "Really it was wasn't too big of a factor, just was a problem a few times."

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