Ravens, Washington Football Team winless since Maryland governor's Super Bowl bet

·Yahoo Sports Staffer
·3 min read

When Maryland became one of the latest states to legalize sports betting last month, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wanted to get in on the action.

So on Dec. 9, 2021, Hogan placed the state's first bet at MGM National Harbor, right outside of Washington D.C., to commemorate the moment. (BetMGM is a Yahoo Sports partner.)

The governor put in a $50 wager on a potential Super Bowl LVI matchup between the Washington Football Team and Baltimore Ravens that would have paid out more than $20,000 — in the process uttering Washington’s racist former moniker.

The bet is not working out. The two teams that play their home games in Maryland have gone a combined 0-8 since Hogan’s wager and toppled out of the playoff picture.

Washington's woeful turn

Hogan's bet took place before Week 14, when Washington was sitting at 6-6 as the sixth seed in the NFC. The team then had four straight weeks of NFC East matchups, alternating between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on the schedule.

Washington fell behind early in the home matchup against Dallas, where the Cowboys brought their own benches to town, but couldn't make up the ground against Dak Prescott and co. and lost 27-20.

Week 15 saw the Washington-Philadelphia matchup pushed to Tuesday due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Starting QB Taylor Heinicke and backup Kyle Allen did not clear COVID-19 protocols and were ruled out. Practice squad QB Garrett Gilbert got the nod under center, and Washington ultimately fell 27-17.

Those two contests were followed by a Sunday Night Football embarrassment in Dallas, losing 56-14, and a heartbreaking loss against Philadelphia at home, 20-16, which now has Washington at 6-10 and eliminated from postseason contention.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 02: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
An injury to Ravens QB Lamar Jackson sent Baltimore's playoff hopes into a downward spiral. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Baltimore's bad breaks

In early December, the 8-4 Ravens had much better prospects of holding up their end of the bargain for Hogan's bet, but a Week 14 matchup against the Cleveland Browns changed the trajectory of their season.

Starting QB Lamar Jackon left the game early due to an ankle injury and backup QB Tyler Huntley was tossed into action. Baltimore was down 24-3, but Huntley brought the Ravens within one score late. However, the Ravens couldn't convert on a fourth down with under a minute left and fell 24-22.

Jackson's ankle injury held him out of contests against the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals. Prior to the game against the Bengals, Huntley was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and QB Josh Johnson got the start. The Ravens lost both games — one in controversial fashion after going for a two-point conversion late against Green Bay.

Huntley returned in the Week 17 loss against the Los Angeles Rams which, like many Ravens' games this season, was decided on the last possession.

Baltimore now sits at 8-8, 10th in a crowded AFC playoff hunt, and must win vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers and hope for losses from the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins to sneak in the postseason.

Was Hogan's bet the cause of the downfall between the two teams vying for playoff spots? Obviously not, but one can only wonder what could have happened if the bet was never placed.

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