Needing one more first down to seal a victory Sunday against the Chargers, the Ravens were willing to pull out all the stops.
Baltimore attempted a play-action throw on third down to try to move the chains, but quarterback Joe Flacco had to throw the ball away after nobody got open. That stopped the clock and allowed the Chargers more time to march back down the field for the winning score.
So then the Ravens tried to pull out some trickery.
Baltimore had tight end Owen Daniels line up way outside near the Baltimore sideline, essentially trying to hide him so the Chargers wouldn't notice he was still on the field and eligible to catch a pass.
As it's drawn up, the snap would have likely gone to either holder Sam Koch or kicker Justin Tucker, who would have thrown to the wide-open Daniels. Daniels would have been able to pick up the first down or possibly cruise into the end zone.
Only problem was, the Chargers noticed.
"It just took a little too long for the official to get the thing set up," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday's game.
The officials have to place the ball to be ready to snap. It took a while, and the Chargers (probably getting notice from the booth above) noticed and started going berserk on the sideline. Chargers cornerback Shareece Wright ran over to cover Daniels and the Ravens' trick play was spoiled.
Baltimore took a timeout to get settled and ready to kick a big 31-yard field goal to increase its lead to six points with two minutes, 26 seconds remaining.
That timeout would have been useful to stop the clock on the Ravens' final drive of the game when Kamar Aiken was tackled in bounds at the Chargers' 43-yard line. The Ravens could have had a shot at a last-second, game-winning 60-yard field goal attempt by Justin Tucker.
Harbaugh was asked about using the timeout during his Monday press conference.
"In retrospect you'd always like to do something different if it doesn't work out. But in the heat of battle, you do the best you can and make the decision that you make, the one that you think is best at the time," he said.
"It would be easy for me to sit here and say, 'Yeah, I wish I hadn't burned that timeout. Back it up 5 yards and he'll still make the field goal and we'll still have the timeout.' That's easy; that's simple. It would be easy for me to go there. But you know what; I didn't do it because I didn't think it was the best thing in the heat of battle. A lot of things we did did work out. Just leave it where it was, we did the best we could and it wasn't good enough. I didn't do good enough making those decisions enough to win the game in the end. That's reality. Just take responsibility for it and move on."
Check out the best photos from this critical AFC showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium.