John Harbaugh went on to win again and AFC North jumped even higher.
The Ravens (8-6) lost their third straight game on Sunday when Tyler Huntley threw Mark Andrews unfinished in a 2-point conversion attempt after Baltimore scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes to within a point of Green Bay. Rally for
The same thing happened at Week 13 in Pittsburgh. At that point, Lamar Jackson threw Andrews unfinished and the Ravens lost 20–19 to the Steelers.
Baltimore’s latest defeat knocked the Ravens out of first place and set up a showdown in Cincinnati (8-6) for the top spot the following week.
The Browns (7-6) are just behind those two teams and will host Las Vegas on Monday. The Steelers (7-6-1) posted an impressive win over AFC south-leading Tennessee.
The split will likely come in the final week when Baltimore will host Pittsburgh and Cleveland will host Cincinnati.
Perhaps the Ravens would be in a better position if they kicked extra point and played for overtime against the Steelers and Packers, although there is no guarantee they will win either game.
“It goes from situation to situation,” Harbaugh said. “Those two situations you want to talk about, if you want to go back and restart the season, I’m happy to do it. For me, in both those cases, that’s what made us win.” Given the best chance. Because we didn’t win, it’s not true. It’s as true today as it was then. So, it doesn’t always work.”
Harbaugh wasn’t the only coach whose aggression was reversed in Week 15. Chargers coach Brandon Staley passed three field goals so that his offense failed to convert every time he finished fourth in a 34-28 overtime loss to Kansas City on Thursday night.
He didn’t even apologize.
“I’m never going to gamble as a coach,” Staley said. “These players mean a lot to me. Our team means a lot to me. I’m not gambling at all. I’m definitely never going to be careless. I felt like those were beneficial situations for us. I didn’t think either of those chances reduced our chances of winning. I felt like doing this greatly increased our chances of winning. What we’re trying to establish here is the mindset that we’re going to try to win the game on our own terms, and the team has to beat us. ,
A win gave Los Angeles (8–6) a season sweep over the Chiefs and placed the Chargers in first place in the AFC West. Instead, the Chargers, like the Ravens, have an uphill task to reach the post season.
The close race at the AFC North is a microcosm of the NFL in 2021.
Only the Packers (11–3) have won the division title. The Buccaneers (10-4) and the Cowboys (10-4) have comfortable leads, but Tampa Bay lost their chance to win the NFC South and lost 9-0 to the Saints to sabotage their chances for the No. 1 seed .
The NFC West suddenly went tough with the Lions winning the first one with a surprise defeat in Detroit, Arizona. The Cardinals take a half-game lead over the Rams (9-4) in their Los Angeles game against Seattle on Tuesday night.
The AFC East is set to be drawn to a one-game draw with New England (9-5) and Buffalo (8-6). Indianapolis (8-6) is one game behind the Titans (9-5) but lost to them twice. The Chiefs (10-4) have a two-game lead over the Chargers.
It is the first time since 2002 that no team has achieved a playoff spot in the AFC after 15 weeks, although this season the schedule was extended to 18 weeks.
Eight AFC teams are within a game of each other – the Raiders (6-7) can make it nine after beating the Browns in the race for three wild-card spots.
There will be at least five teams within a game of each other for the final wild-card spot in NFC.
With four games remaining in Week 15, only four teams have been relegated from playoff contention.
The NFL’s first season with 17 games is set to end to a wild one. Coaches like Harbaugh and Staley make bold decisions on a weekly basis, which will make it even more exciting.