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Explanation of Failed Fourth-Down Attempt in Pittsburgh

Offensive Line
Offensive Line

On a day full of frustrations, one was the Ravens' failed fourth-down attempt at the end of the first half when they were in field goal range.

The Ravens could have attempted a 40-yard field goal with just seconds left that, if made, would've given Baltimore a 13-3 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers at halftime.

That was the intent, but center Tyler Linderbaum snapped the ball when he wasn't supposed to. The Ravens lined up the offense just to run the clock down, and Harbaugh intended to take a timeout and send Justin Tucker out for the attempt.

Linderbaum, however, thought the Steelers jumped into the neutral zone so he snapped it, thinking the Ravens would get a free play and a free first down, which would have put the Ravens at the 18-yard line with about 20 seconds left in the half. However, no flag was thrown on the Steelers and Jackson scrambled before throwing incomplete.

That kept it a one-score game heading into halftime, just one of the many instances where the Ravens had a chance to take a commanding lead in the first half but didn't. Considering how toothless the Steelers offense was to that point, it would have been three big points.

"[It's] really just on me – knowing [and] understanding the situation [and] just making sure if the guy does jump offsides that I can snap the ball," Linderbaum said. "But [it's] just understanding the situation and making sure that he gets across the ball before I snap it. That's just my fault [for] not being aware and putting our team in a bad situation."

Head Coach John Harbaugh described the play as a "miscommunication."

"Heat of battle, weren't on the same page" Harbaugh said. "They jumped in the neutral zone, guys thought they were in the neutral zone and he went ahead and snapped it. That wasn't what we were planning on doing. You can see Lamar was surprised by the snap."

Harbaugh said it's something the Ravens have to, and will, learn from.

"That was just one of those things operationally that we just have to get better at," he said. "That's kind of an example really of where we're at. We just have to get better at operational things and just clean stuff up and make those plays. I think we're that close in so many ways, but that's the difference in a game on the road like this and in this kind of a rivalry game, so we'll learn from it."

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