The Denver Broncos were reportedly big mad over a late Baltimore Ravens run on Sunday after the game's outcome was decided.
Vic Fangio confirmed that during his Monday news conference.
The Broncos head coach was asked about Lamar Jackson's run with three seconds left on the game clock and the Ravens leading, 23-7. His answer was, well ... let him explain.
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) October 4, 2021
"I thought it was kind of bulls***," Fangio said. "But I expected it from them. Thirty-seven years in pro ball, I've never seen anything like that. But it was to be expected, and I expected it."
So why did Fangio expect it?
"'Cause I just know how they operate," he continued. "That's just their mode of operation. Player safety is secondary there."
No joking matter
That's a serious accusation from Fangio in a league that touts player safety as paramount. How much management actually prioritizes player safety is a subject for another story. But the league wants everyone to believe that it's a top priority. A head coach accusing another franchise of de-valuing player safety is no light matter.
So what exactly is Fangio so worked up about? The Ravens had the win secured and possession of the football in the final seconds of Sunday's game. They were also three yards short of reaching 100 yards rushing and one game short of tying the Pittsburgh Steelers' NFL record for 43 straight 100-yard rushing games.
Armed with the best running quarterback in football, the Ravens eschewed victory formation to chase the record, which they secured with Jackson's five-yard run as time ran out. Head coach John Harbaugh talked about the decision after the game, which he said was his.
“That’s one of those things that’s meaningful.
“It’s a very, very tough record to accomplish.”
Coach Harbaugh talked about tying the NFL record of rushing for at least 100 yards in 43-straight games. pic.twitter.com/aywn15f61t
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 3, 2021
“One-hundred percent my call,” Harbaugh said. “That’s one of those things that’s meaningful. As a head coach, you have to be mindful of your players and your coaches and what it means to them. It's a very, very tough record to accomplish, and it's a long-term record.”
Harbaugh's decision left Broncos players "livid," according to a report from Mike Klis of Denver's 9 News. Fangio clearly was. But Harbaugh wasn't apologizing for it on Sunday. Here's guessing we won't be hearing any apologies moving forward either.
He didn't sound too concerned about Fangio's comments whens asked about them on Monday.
“I thought we were on good terms," Harbaugh said, per The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec. "We had a nice chat before the game. But I promise you, I’m not going to give that insult one second of thought. What’s meaningful to us is not necessarily meaningful to them.”
He also countered by questioning Denver's decision to throw into the end zone on the previous play with 10 seconds remaining in a game that was already lost, telling reporters he wasn't aware of a 16-point play.