The Ravens quite literally held off the Bengals’ comeback on Sunday.

At first I thought the Ravens and Bengals had put an end to their rivalry and were hugging it out. But you could tell something was wrong when Marqueston Huff put Rex Burkhead in a headlock right around the the 13 yard line. Before long it looked line an all-out melee.

In actuality, the Ravens intentionally held all nine Bengals punt rushers on the final play of a 19-14 win to run out the clock on a game-ending safety.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh served as the Bengals’ special teams coordinator from 1989-1996 and held the same position with the Eagles before becoming a head coach. Clearly he picked up a few tricks along the way.

By rule, a game cannot end on a defensive penalty. Although the Ravens came out in punt formation, the game was allowed to end because they still had possession of the football and were the offensive team.

Once the clock hit all zeroes, punter Sam Koch stepped out of the back of the end zone.

We’ve seen this before from Harbaugh. He used the same strategy in Super Bowl XLVII against the 49ers, when the Ravens intentionally took a safety on a punt with a five-point lead and 12 seconds remaining.

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.