Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
There are times when running clock is more important in football than giving up two points. The Baltimore Ravens were just in that situation, and played it perfectly.
Up 34-29 with 11 seconds left in Super Bowl 47, the Baltimore Ravens had a choice: they could punt the ball away from their own 5-yard-line ... or they could do what they did, with punter Sam Koch taking possibly the smartest safety in NFL history.
In a move straight out of a dorm room Madden game, Koch took the snap on the punt and clung to the ball for dear life, covering it with both hands. Koch scrambled -- well, "scrambled" -- right and made his way from the middle of the end zone to the corner before finally being pushed out.
San Francisco got two points, narrowing the Ravens' lead to 34-31, but its chances of getting the winning points dwindled to nothing.
The play took all of seven seconds, but it essentially ensured that the San Francisco 49ers couldn't get the ball back with enough to time to run a play without calling for a fair catch on the ensuing safety punt. And, sure enough, the Niners' Ted Ginn Jr. didn't call for a fair catch, and ended up running out the clock on his attempt to score.
It's a little thing, but the Ravens held on to the ball for every possible second, knowing that the worst that could happen on most punts in the end zone was the ideal outcome in this situation.
On the sport's biggest stage, the Ravens got one of the smallest things about football absolutely right.