The Baltimore Ravens’ struggles in 2005 almost make me feel sorry for head coach Brian Billick (above, left) and his purple gang.
For about four and a half seconds.
That’s how long it takes me to grab the Sept. 24, 2000, box score and flip to the fourth quarter play-by-play.
Recalling the travesty that transpired in Baltimore’s 37-0 victory over Cincinnati, I quickly come to my senses and realize: This is a Ravens club that deserves no mercy and no sympathy because of the lack of sportsmanship it showed that day.
Surely, you remember the most lopsided defeat in Bengals history. It was the Corey Dillon “No Mas” game. The Akili Smith concussion game. The Tom Carter-gets-burned game.
The game in which Billick’s true personality came out.
A 34-0 lead wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted more. So he had backup quarterback Chris Redman, subbing for starter Tony Banks, throwing into the end zone on the Ravens’ final drive that stalled at the Bengals’ 1-yard line with Baltimore settling for Matt Stover’s 19-yard field goal at the two-minute warning.
Naturally, Bengals third-year head coach Marvin Lewis ” who served as the Ravens defensive coordinator that Super Bowl season ” defended Billick’s decision to have Redman pass.
“Chris was reacting to what was going on, on the other side of the football,” Lewis said. “There was single-high coverage and blitzes being called. And the quarterback was reacting to that and doing what he was coached to do, just like every quarterback is.”
I saw it differently. A coach who should’ve been content to run out the clock was running up the score. Instead of having his quarterback kneel in the victory formation, he went for the jugular.