Baltimore Ravens: John Harbaugh

ESPN.com's AFC North reporters voted on five awards for the division (Coach of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player), and one will be handed out each day throughout the week. Consider this our version of the NFL Honors show.

For Monday, it's the 2014 AFC North Coach of the Year ...

Harbaugh
No AFC North team endured more challenges than the Baltimore Ravens, and no division team advanced further in the playoffs than them. That's a credit to the leadership of John Harbaugh, who narrowly beat out the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin for AFC North Coach of the Year.

Harbaugh directed the Ravens to a 10-6 record and the divisional round of the playoffs despite the Ray Rice scandal, 19 players on injured reserve and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata's month-long suspension. Quarterback Joe Flacco was asked about why the Ravens can handle adversity so well and he pointed immediately to Harbaugh.

"It starts with John and his attitude that he brings to the team meeting room ... and it filters throughout the rest of us," Flacco said. "So, we are able to keep that levelheadedness and keep the same mentality no matter what's happened the previous week."

It was more than Harbaugh's guidance that helped the Ravens reach the playoffs for the sixth time in his seven seasons. It was also his aggressiveness.

In early December, Harbaugh established a a must-win mentality by going for it on fourth-and-1 in Miami. It was a gamble considering the Ravens were trailing in the third quarter and they were at their own 34-yard line. But Flacco converted it with a quarterback sneak, and the Ravens were celebrating the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later.

"It was there for us to take. That was the message that was sent to us," tight end Owen Daniels said. "They were putting it on [the offense]. Our defense is playing great, but we had to do something offensively to knock the door down."

Harbaugh is at his best when the Ravens are facing adversity, and he proved that time and time again in 2014.

As far as the balloting went, Harbaugh received three of the five first-place votes to win the award in what was a good showing for all of the AFC North coaches this season. Tomlin, who took the other two first-place votes, led the Steelers back into the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Marvin Lewis recorded his fourth-straight playoff season (the Cincinnati Bengals didn't make the playoffs in the 12 seasons before Lewis arrived). And, despite a rough finish, first-year coach Mike Pettine helped the Cleveland Browns to their best season since 2007.

AFC North Coach of the Year voting: John Harbaugh, 17 points; Mike Tomlin, 16; Marvin Lewis, 10; Mike Pettine, 7.

Panel of voters: Scott Brown, Jeremy Fowler, Coley Harvey, Jamison Hensley and Pat McManamon.
Those who watched Sunday night's Pro Bowl saw what the Baltimore Ravens had witnessed all season out of their star players.

Elvis Dumervil harassed quarterbacks, Justin Forsett broke a long run, C.J. Mosley delivered big tackles and Marshal Yanda opened up running lanes.

In the end, Team Irvin defeated Team Carter, 32-28, which meant Dumervil and Yanda collected the winning share of $55,000 apiece and some measure of bragging rights over their teammates. Forsett and Mosley each received $28,000 for the losing side, which was coached by John Harbaugh and the Ravens' staff.

Here are the highlights for the Ravens:
  • Dumervil collected the only two sacks of the game. He sacked Andrew Luck in the first quarter, and he sacked Andy Dalton near the end of the third quarter to force a punt. It was reminiscent of the 2014 season when Dumervil set the Ravens' single-season record with 17 sacks.
  • Mosley finished second on Team Carter with six tackles, including five solo. His biggest tackle came in the third quarter when he stopped Mark Ingram short of the goal line on a long run. “I definitely want to come back," said Mosley, who became the first Ravens' rookie to reach the Pro Bowl. "There is only one stage bigger than this, and hopefully I am not here because of that stage, but if not I definitely want to come back here.”
  • Forsett produced 84 total yards (31 rushing and 53 receiving) on eight touches. On a drive that ended the first half, he broke a 31-yard run and a 25-yard reception. “It’s a dream come true," said Forsett, who was making his first Pro Bowl appearance of his seven-year career. "It’s something I’ve wanted to accomplish throughout my whole career, and I’m blessed to be out here with these guys.”
  • Harbaugh made an impact on the game as well. His successful challenge in the third quarter turned an incompletion in the end zone into a 10-yard touchdown from Drew Brees to Greg Olsen. During the regular season, only one of Harbaugh's eight challenges were successful (12.5 percent).

The Ravens would've had a fifth Pro Bowl player, but quarterback Joe Flacco declined an invitation because his wife was due to deliver their third child (she gave birth to their third son on Tuesday). Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton went in his place and flopped down the stretch for Harbaugh and Team Carter.

Dalton was 9-for-20 for 69 yards and failed to deliver on the potential winning drive. His final four passes -- which all came in the red zone -- were all incomplete. Would Flacco have done better? All we know is he couldn't have done worse.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the "threshold of tolerance" has changed after five players were arrested last offseason.

Harbaugh stressed off-field behavior in his season-ending meeting with the players this week.

Harbaugh
"That’s something that they need to understand, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all," Harbaugh said. "It’s a privilege to play in the National Football League. It’s a privilege to be a part of the Ravens. There’s a standard to uphold there, and we expect them to [do that]. We’ve always expected them to do that. But I would think that it will be a little bit shorter leeway, maybe than it’s been in the past.”

While many want to point a finger at the Ravens for not having a tighter rein on their players, all five arrests occurred when the players were on a break from offseason workouts. In fact, all but one arrest occurred outside Maryland.

There is only so much the team or Harbaugh can do other than make sure every player knows they're accountable for their actions and there will be consequences. The Ravens, however, never followed through on that message last year when they didn't cut anyone involved in an off-the-field incident.

In the Ravens' defense, three players were arrested for misdemeanors, and none went to trial on any of the charges. Four of the cases have been resolved. Running back Ray Rice (felony aggravated assault) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (misdemeanor battery) were accepted into pretrial intervention programs, and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (misdemeanor destruction of property as well as drunk and disorderly) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (felony possession of marijuana) had their cases dismissed.

The only pending case involving a player is cornerback Jimmy Smith (misdemeanor disorderly conduct). His court date is Feb. 17.

Harbaugh is hoping for a quieter offseason, which had been typical during his time with the Ravens. In Harbaugh's previous six years as the head coach, there were only four reported arrests of Ravens players, according to the San Diego Tribune-Review's arrest database.

"As we left the building, I think it was enough to do to remind the guys that how we handle ourselves is always important," Harbaugh said. "Our name is the only name we have. At the same time, there’s a different conduct code in place for all of us -- coaches, players, front office personnel. Everybody is going to be under a different type of scrutiny from here on out. And that’s a good thing."
Observed and heard in the locker room after the Baltimore Ravens' 35-31 loss at the New England Patriots:

Flacco
 Flacco remained aggressive: Joe Flacco carried the Ravens for most of the game, but he came up short at the end. Down by four points, Flacco was intercepted in the end zone when he decided to throw deep on second-and-5 with just under two minutes remaining. "They had a new corner in there [Logan Ryan] and that safety [Duron Harmon] was cheating that way a little bit," said Flacco, who finished with 292 yards passing and four touchdowns. "But I thought I might be able to sneak the ball in there and take a shot at the end zone and get us some points on the board there, with Torrey [Smith] on a good matchup, even though they were cheating to his side a little bit. So, I took my shot, and it just didn’t work out. Didn’t get it there."

Ravens caught off guard by trick play: One of the biggest plays in the game was the creative play call in the third quarter, when wide receiver Julian Edelman took a lateral from quarterback Tom Brady and hit wide receiver Danny Amendola for a 51-yard touchdown. It tied the game at 28 and left the Ravens scratching their heads. "At that time in the game, it was a great call on their part," said cornerback Rashaan Melvin, who let Amendola run free behind him. "As defensive packages, you always have to make sure your head is in the game and make sure you don't get beat."

Harbaugh proud of his team: Ravens coach John Harbaugh commended his team for reaching the divisional round despite the Ray Rice scandal, numerous injuries and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata getting suspended. "I've never been around a team that handled distractions and those kind of things with minimal drag like this team has," Harbaugh said. "They focused on the important things. They became the best football team they could be. That's what this team did. That's what you're proud of as a coach. That's what they should be proud of."
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- John Harbaugh said "it meant everything" that Patriots coach Bill Belichick called owner Steve Bisciotti and suggested that he interview Harbaugh for the Baltimore Ravens' head coaching opening in 2008.

Harbaugh
"The fact that he was willing to do that at the time, I was stunned when I heard the story much later," Harbaugh said Thursday. "I would describe the relationship as very good. [I have] great admiration for coach and consider him ... I’ve never worked with him, specifically, but for whatever reason he has been always willing to kind of take me under his wing in a way and give me time and insight and things like that."

When the Ravens and Patriots met near the end of last season, Belichick said he wished he was better friends with Harbaugh, but it's tough when they're always competing against each other.

"I have a lot of respect for John," Belichick said. "John, obviously again had a great background -- football family. He grew up with it, as I did. He’s really paid his dues. He’s been a good coach in this league, whether it was on special teams or defense or obviously as a head coach."

Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game marks the third time in four seasons that the teams will face each other in the playoffs. The Ravens have ended the Patriots' season in 2009 and 2012.

Should Belichick now regret referring Harbaugh for Ravens job?

"I don't think I'm going to get into that," Harbaugh said with a smile.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was not in the mood to revisit his declaration that Joe Flacco is the "best quarterback in football."

Flacco
Harbaugh touted Flacco after Saturday's wild-card win at Pittsburgh, and he was asked about his statement Tuesday.

"I said it. I meant it," Harbaugh said. "What more is there to say about it? You want me to explain it? You guys make your opinions, I'll have my opinion. I'm entitled to my opinion."

Flacco has been a middle-of-the-pack quarterback statistically in the regular season, but he has been outstanding in the postseason.

He is 10-4 in the postseason, including seven playoff wins on the road -- two more than any other quarterback in NFL history. Over his last five postseason games, Flacco has thrown 13 touchdowns and no interceptions while earning Super Bowl MVP.

"It obviously means a lot for a head coach to stand up in front of the whole world and say those kind of things," Flacco said. "Whether it really means anything, I don't know. But it definitely means a lot to me."

Harbaugh later elaborated on why he likes Flacco as his quarterback.

"Joe is very talented," Harbaugh said. "He's got a great arm. He's a very good athlete. He's a big, strong guy in the pocket. He can make any throw. He's mentally tough and physically tough. He's going to compete every day."

Observed and heard in the locker room after the Baltimore Ravens' 30-17 win at the Pittsburgh Steelers:
  • Suggs
    Catching the one that mattered: Ravens coach John Harbaugh referred to Terrell Suggs' fourth-quarter interception -- the one he caught between his legs -- as "the greatest catch in the history of football." Harbaugh rewarded Suggs with the game ball and tossed it to him in the locker room. What did Suggs do? He dropped it.
  • Sending them home early: Wide receiver Steve Smith talked about how you see the Terrible Towels on television and you grow up wanting to play in an atmosphere like this one. "To be in it, it was pretty cool," Smith said. "It was also cooler to silence them and see them enter their cars pretty early, too. That was the best part." Fans at Heinz Field started heading to the gates after Joe Flacco's 21-yard touchdown pass made it 30-15 with about eight minutes left in the game.
  • Special win: Suggs has won a lot of playoff games, but he acknowledged this one was special. It's the first time he's beaten the Steelers in the postseason. "Whenever my time is done on the field, they could say I never beat the Steelers in the playoffs. They can't say that now," said Suggs, who was previously 0-2 against Pittsburgh in the postseason. "It was a great achievement, but it's short-lived. We're going to enjoy the plane right home. But we all know who we're dealing with next." That would be another postseason trip to New England.
Round 3 of one of the top rivalries in football takes place Saturday night, when the Baltimore Ravens play at the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC wild-card game. In the midst of each team beating the other by 20 points this season, here are the three moments that defined their rivalry this season:

1. Courtney Upshaw's hit on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: His ferocious takedown of Roethlisberger in the first minute of the first meeting set the tone in the Ravens' 26-6 win in Week 2. Running at full speed from about five yards away, Upshaw planted his helmet into the chest of Roethlisberger, a collision that lifted the quarterback off his feet. "I lost my breath instantly and remember hitting the ground thinking, 'Boy, that hurt a lot,'" Roethlisberger said. Upshaw drew a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty and a $16,537 fine, but it may have been worth it for the Ravens because Roethlisberger wasn't the same after the hit.

2. Antonio Brown's 54-yard touchdown: He faked out cornerback Chykie Brown to get open, stiff-armed safety Will Hill and seemed to race past everyone on the Ravens defense to score a minute into the fourth quarter. There were more critical touchdowns scored by the Steelers that night. The 47-yard pass to Markus Wheaton in the final minutes of the first half broke open the game. But the Brown touchdown epitomized how much the Ravens' secondary was outclassed that night. The Ravens cut cornerbacks Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks, both of whom had missed tackles on that Antonio Brown score, two days later.

3. Mike Tomlin's reaction to John Harbaugh's locker room comments: CBS cameras captured (and mistakenly aired) Harbaugh talking about how the Pittsburgh Steelers got their posterior kicked by the New York Jets. This was far from the biggest smack talk in this rivalry, but Tomlin still took exception to it. "If they choose to spend their time thinking or talking about us, so be it," Tomlin said in mid-November. "Hopefully if we do what it is we're supposed to do and they do, we'll see them again. Maybe we can settle it in '15. Maybe not. We'll see." A year ago, when Tomlin interfered with Jacoby Jones' kickoff return, Harbaugh took the high road on the matter, saying "stuff happens." Tomlin decided to take a more confrontational tact with Harbaugh's locker room comments, and that likely didn't go unnoticed by the Ravens. Who said this rivalry has lost some of its bite?
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens' win over the Miami Dolphins kept the team in the playoff hunt and John Harbaugh in an exclusive coaching club.

With the Ravens securing their eighth win Sunday, Harbaugh remains one of four coaches in NFL history to win a Super Bowl and not have a losing season. This elite list includes: Vince Lombardi, John Madden, Mike Tomlin and Harbaugh.

While there's a mutual respect with Tomlin, Harbaugh was awestruck when told that he shares an accomplishment with two Hall of Fame coaches in Lombardi and Madden.

[+] EnlargeMatt Elam
Nick Wass/AP PhotoJohn Harbaugh remains one of four coaches in NFL history to win a Super Bowl and not have a losing season.
"I can't believe it. That's amazing," Harbaugh said. "I've been blessed to get to know John Madden. We have a kind of relationship that he's mentoring a lot of us guys where I can call him up and talk to him anytime. Vince Lombardi is the icon of all our youth. Put it this way, there'd be no comparison question there. You can all safely say that."

In his seventh season, Harbaugh owns the fourth-best winning percentage (.648) among active NFL head coaches, compiling a 79-43 record. He is the only head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first four and five seasons.

This season has been one of Harbaugh's best coaching jobs when you consider the amount of challenges the team has overcome. The Ravens (8-5) are a half-game out of first place in the AFC North despite the Ray Rice scandal, the suspension of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and eight starters (tight ends Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, guard Kelechi Osemele, defensive end Chris Canty, cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson) missing at least one game to injury.

Harbaugh's strength is to never dwell on the past and constantly look forward. When Ngata was suspended last week, Harbaugh simply announced the news at the start of the team meeting before saying, "OK, let’s go to work.”

Quarterback Joe Flacco was asked about why the Ravens can handle adversity so well and he pointed immediately to Harbaugh.

"It starts with John and his attitude that he brings to the team meeting room ... and it filters throughout the rest of us," Flacco said. "So, we are able to keep that levelheadedness and keep the same mentality no matter what's happened the previous week."

Flacco said Harbaugh provides the guidance on how to handle difficulties.

"I think he’s so comfortable and so confident in what he is doing that he can portray that to all of us and we can [follow his lead]," Flacco said. "Let’s just say adversity is losing a game. We all don’t feel good coming in here on Tuesday after a loss. But when you see your head coach get up there and, while he is fiery, he is still confident about getting back to work and going out there the next week … I think he’s been doing a really good job with that, and that’s with everything.”

Stock Watch: Baltimore Ravens

December, 10, 2014
12/10/14
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A look at who's rising and falling on the Baltimore Ravens heading into their Week 15 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars:

RISING

Dumervil
Elvis Dumervil's sacks. The Ravens' new single-season sacks record holder has recorded nine sacks over his past five games, which is 1.5 more than anyone else in the NFL over that span. Dumervil is tied with Kansas City's Justin Houston for the league lead with 16 sacks. The difference is Dumervil has played 336 fewer snaps than Houston.

Joe Flacco's ability to extend drives. The Ravens put together drives of 10, 11 and 12 plays Sunday in Miami because of their quarterback's play on third downs. Over the past three games, Flacco's 127.2 passer rating on third down is best in the NFL. He has completed 76 percent of his passes on third downs during this stretch with three touchdowns.

Big runs in the fourth quarter. The Ravens pride themselves on being the most physical team in the NFL, and it's evident in how they wear down teams in the running game. Last Sunday, the Ravens broke three runs of 20 yards or longer in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins. For the season, the Ravens have produced 10 20-yard runs in the fourth quarter, which more than doubles every team in the league.

FALLING

Harbaugh
John Harbaugh's patience with special-teams penalties. The Ravens have committed four penalties on punt returns the past three games, which has moved them back inside their own 20-yard line three times. On Sunday, Danny Gorrer was flagged for holding on a return, pinning the Ravens inside their own 4. Coach John Harbaugh is getting tired of giving away valuable field position. "We work way too hard on technique and fundamentals to be having fouls on special teams," he said.

Ravens' tackling. The Ravens have reverted back to some bad habits, missing nine tackles in each of their past two games. Defensive back Matt Elam has missed three tackles the past two weeks and now has a total of 12 on the season, which ranks second on the Ravens. Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley leads the Ravens with 13 missed tackles.

Steve Smith's hands. The veteran wide receiver has been failing to hold on to some critical catches, including one in the end zone last Sunday in Miami. Smith now has seven dropped passes on the season, which is tied for ninth-most in the NFL. The trend lately is for Smith to pull down the tough throws and drop the easy ones.
John Harbaugh handed out two game balls following the Baltimore Ravens' 28-13 win in Miami.

He gave one to quarterback Joe Flacco, who had a stellar game just days after his grandfather passed away. He delivered the other to strength and conditioning coach Bob Rogucki.

Not only did the Ravens win in 76-degree weather, but they got better in the warm temperature and wore down a Dolphins team that should've been used to such conditions. In the last three quarters, the Ravens outscored the Dolphins, 28-3.

Beating the heat is nothing new for the Ravens. Since Harbaugh took over as coach in 2008, the Ravens are 11-4 (.733) when the game-time temperature is above 75 degrees. No other NFL team has a better record.

It will be much different weather Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, where the temperature is expected to remain in the mid-40s.
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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- John Harbaugh is at his best as a coach when his team faces adversity because he knows how to get the Baltimore Ravens in the right mindset.

Their 28-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins proved it again.

With last Sunday's fourth-quarter collapse and recent suspension of Haloti Ngata swirling around this team, nothing put the Ravens in a must-win mentality more than Harbaugh going for it on fourth down-and-1 in the third quarter from his own 34-yard line. Joe Flacco converted it with a quarterback sneak, and the Ravens were celebrating the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later.

The Ravens rallied to beat the Dolphins because of the momentum that came from Harbaugh's gamble. They're squarely back in the AFC playoff picture as a result of the confidence that his risky decision inspired.

Has there been a gutsier decision in Harbaugh's seven seasons as Ravens coach? Has there been a gutsier coaching call in Ravens history?

The Ravens were trailing 10-7 at that point. The prevailing thought was that the Ravens' playoff hopes would end if they lost.

As far as turning points go, this fourth down was it. In many ways, it was fourth down and the season.

"The game wasn’t going our way. We did something to make it go our way," wide receiver Kamar Aiken said. "It was all or nothing,”

Some will still say it was the wrong call. Others might call it a crazy one. Harbaugh, though, viewed it as an easy decision. Right after wide receiver Marlon Brown's third-down reception came up a yard short, Harbaugh was told by his assistants in the coaches' box that the metrics -- the statistics that calculate success rate and situations -- said the right call was to go for it.

"Still, in the end, it's about what your gut says," Harbaugh said.

The Ravens (8-5) are a half-game back of the first-place Cincinnati Bengals because they rallied from an early 10-point deficit and put together a 97-yard drive after Flacco threw an interception in the end zone.

The ultimate gut check was still Harbaugh's decision. With 10:48 left in the third quarter, none of the players had to ask Harbaugh what he was going to do on fourth down.

"He kind of has that go-for-it look," wide receiver Steve Smith said.

The Ravens have been the most aggressive team on fourth-and-1 this season, but they haven't been the most successful. Their 62.5-percent success rate (5-of-8) this season ranks 20th in the NFL.

Plus, the Ravens were stuffed by the Dolphins on two third-and-1 attempts in the first half. This was far from a sure bet.

"I didn't second-guess it," Harbaugh said. "I just wanted our guys to make it."

One of Harbaugh's strengths is that he isn't afraid to think outside of the box. His firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron about this time in December two years ago shows that.

How rare is it for a team to go for it on fourth down in their own territory in the third quarter? Tight end Owen Daniels, who is in his ninth season in the NFL, said he could count the number of times his teams have done it on one hand.

"It was there for us to take. That was the message that was sent to us," Daniels said. "They were putting it on [the offense]. Our defense is playing great, but we had to do something offensively to knock the door down."

Harbaugh loves sending messages to his players. He'll give them blue-collared shirts during training camp to promote their workmanlike attitude. He puts up signs throughout the facility like W.I.N. -- what's important now.

On Sunday, his latest message spoke volumes.

"We knew we had to be aggressive to win this football game," Flacco said. "The confidence that he had in us to stay on the field at that point was huge."
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If you're wondering what Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh thought about the four-game suspension for Haloti Ngata, you're not going to get it from him.

Harbaugh's first comments about losing his Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the regular season were brief. He didn't even mention Ngata's name.

"My thoughts are my own. They are what they are," Harbaugh said after Friday's practice. "The important thing is preparing for this game. Getting this game right and doing what we have to do to win this game. That’s been my thoughts. That’s all we really have time for. Any other thought is not important."

The Ravens officially placed Ngata on the suspended list and filled his roster spot by promoting tight end Phillip Supernaw. To fill Ngata's spot on the field, the Ravens are expected to go with a rotation that could include Timmy Jernigan, DeAngelo Tyson and Terrence Cody.

"The guys are definitely ready to go," Harbaugh said. "We’re deep in that position. I’m excited to see all the guys play. Those young guys are going to get the opportunity to play."
The Baltimore Ravens' 34-33 loss to San Diego caused some to wonder whether the officials cost the Ravens another game with a flag late in the fourth quarter.

Harbaugh
A month ago, the Ravens fell to the Cincinnati Bengals after wide receiver Steve Smith was called for offensive pass interference, which overturned the go-ahead 80-yard touchdown with 32 seconds remaining. On Sunday, the Ravens allowed the winning touchdown one play after cornerback Anthony Levine was flagged for a pass interference penalty in the end zone with 46 seconds left.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh contends Levine was not given a chance to defend the pass and it was "not fair" to penalize him for trying to make a play on the ball.

"Players should be the guys determining the outcome of the game in a situation like that, without question," Harbaugh said after the game.

It was the first time that Levine was penalized in his three starts at cornerback this season.

"I was trying to knock the ball away," Levine said. "I was trying to knock the ball down and just trying not to lose him. The ball was up in the air, I went for it. I saw the ball, [and] I went for the ball. I wasn’t even playing him anymore -- I played the ball. [The referee] made the call, [and] I’ve got to learn from it."

Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira, who now works for Fox Sports, believes there is no controversy with the call: "Just now seeing the DPI in Baltimore -- that's about as clear interference as can be."

Just like he did in Cincinnati, Terrell Suggs questioned the timing of the flag more than the penalty itself.

"It’s a gutsy call to call in such a tight game with so much at stake," he said. "You don’t want to end the game on that play, but like I said, we know better than that. We know better than to leave it in the hands of the refs. We have to finish games, we have to compete, and we have to play better."

It’s difficult for the Ravens to complain about the officiating when looking at the entire game. The Ravens benefited from three pass interference penalties on the Chargers for a total of 56 yards. Each of those flags moved the Ravens into the red zone, where they converted them into 13 points.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson practiced for the first time since injuring his toe in October, and coach John Harbaugh is hopeful that Jackson will be ready to play in the team's Dec. 7 game at Miami.

Jackson
Jackson had started four games before he severely sprained his toe in a loss at Indianapolis in Week 5. He was put on the short-term injured reserve list, and this week was the first time he was eligible to return to practice.

With Jackson practicing Friday, it starts a 21-day window when the Ravens must decide to activate him to the 53-man roster or shut him down for the season. Harbaugh said it was an encouraging sign.

"It's good to see him out there," Harbaugh said. "It's good to know he's now basically been activated to prepare."

Getting back Jackson would be a boost for a Ravens secondary that lost its best cornerback, Jimmy Smith, for the season. But Jackson is considered the Ravens' third-worst player on defense this season, according to Pro Football Focus. In five games, he allowed 22 catches and missed five tackles.

"I'm not sure how he looked [Friday]. We didn't have him in to many of the main drills today," Harbaugh said. "So I'll have to watch the tape and talk to the some of the guys that worked with him in more of the individual drills."

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