After a few breaks went their way, the Ravens found themsleves eight points down with 76 yards to go and 1:53 left, with no timeouts. A tough task under the smoothest of circumstances—and even tougher when the Ravens’ sideline lost communication with the huddle.
“The phones were going out,” John Harbaugh said. “We lost our phones...It was happening on and off throughout the game, but it got bad in the final drive.”
With offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s direct line to Joe Flacco’s helmet down, the Ravens were reduced to doing this the old-fashioned way. Trestman had to yell the plays in from the sideline, and players had to run on the field with personnel groupings.
Harbaugh said the problems didn’t cost the Ravens too much time, but even a few extra seconds would have been welcome. And even if Baltimore was getting its plays off quickly, it was still chaotic.
“It was way too hectic out there,” Flacco said. “We were running guys in and out. It was just too much communication going on for the amount of time that we had left and guys were just confused. Rightfully so, it is loud out there and it was just a little bit too hectic.”
There’s no way to know if the Ravens were thrown by the communications breakdown, but the receivers definitely looked flustered on the second-and-goal from the four, drawing a flag for an illegal shift. There’s no excuse for the game-sealing interception though: it came after a Cardinals timeout. Even if it was just a redux of Flacco’s jump ball to Crockett Gillmore that had worked earlier in the drive—this time Tony Jefferson went up and got it.