The Baltimore Ravens needed every bit of help they could get on Monday night, relying on a gargantuan effort from superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson as well as some spectacular special teams play to beat the Indianapolis Colts.
Veteran defensive end Calais Campbell put in another massive performance, including back-to-back clutch plays in the fourth quarter to keep the Ravens within one possession.
First, he stuffed Colts running back Jonathan Taylor for a four-yard loss on third down in the red zone, forcing Indianapolis to attempt a field goal. Then, he blocked that field goal to prevent the Colts from extending their eight-point lead.
The 35-year-old defensive lineman burst through the line of scrimmage and threw his arms in front of the kick, with his left hand sending the football back at Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
Campbell seemed to know where the game would eventually leading, telling sideline cameras, “Never over!”
Ravens DT Predicted FG Block, Called Play
Campbell revealed in his postgame press conference that Ravens defensive tackle Broderick Washington called his shot, predicting that Campbell would block a field goal during practice last week and dialed up the play call that led to the crucial block.
Washington even predicted that his rush would clear the space Campbell needed to disrupt the kick, which is exactly what happened on the play, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
“Calais is just a superstar, whatever he does, and made a play for us on special teams. Every one of those plays had to be made, obviously, for us to win the game,” said Harbaugh.
Impressively, Campbell’s field goal block on Monday night was the eighth block of his career, as noted by Spencer Schutlz of SB Nation.
Jeremiah Sirles, who spent six years playing offensive line in the NFL, tweeted that the field goal units on which he played in his career would have designated meetings just to prepare for Campbell’s ability to block field goals.
Second Field Goal Miss Gave Ravens Chance to Win
The Ravens tied the game on the next possession with two straight Lamar Jackson passes to Mark Andrews, the first for a touchdown and the second for a two-point conversion.
But the Colts had two timeouts and 40 seconds, enough time to move into field goal range with the help of a costly penalty by Ravens cornerback Tavon Young.
Blankenship attempted a 47-yard field goal as time expired, but pushed the kick wide left to send the game into overtime.
Though Stephen Holder of The Athletic reported today that Blankenship was dealing with “stabbing pain” in his right hip, it still looks like Campbell had something to do with Blankenship’s miss of a potential game-winner.
This reverse angle of the play shows how Campbell once again plowed through the line, despite being held by multiple Colts, and obscured nearly half of Blankenship’s kicking window.
Just the threat of Campbell on the right side of the line could have forced Blankenship to aim further left to avoid getting blocked again.
The Colts wouldn’t get another chance to score in the game, losing the overtime coin toss and letting Lamar Jackson march the Ravens offense down the field for a walk-off touchdown to Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown.