Lamar Jackson wanted to go for it.
The Baltimore Ravens’ second-year quarterback made himself quite clear on the matter after he returned to the sideline with his team facing fourth-and-two from the Seattle Seahawks 8-yard-line late in the third quarter of a tie game.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh could tell by the look on Jackson’s face, according to NFL.com, but he asked anyway: “Do you want to go for that?”
Perhaps it was because the adrenaline was still flowing after running for a 13-yard gain on the previous play, but Jackson’s answer might have been the most intense seven words yelled on an NFL sideline this weekend:
“HELL YEAH, COACH! LET’S GO FOR IT!”
Jackson said later: “I was mad. I was ready to score. We needed a touchdown.”
Guard Marshal Yanda joined Jackson in lobbying their coach to go for it, even with kicker Justin Tucker and the field goal unit already on the field ready to give the Ravens a three-point lead.
“Lamar is such a dynamic player,” Yanda said. “When you have a competitive guy like that, and he’s fired up, we want to roll.”
Harbaugh said: “My thinking was to kick it. And then Lamar came off and basically he and Marshal were not happy. They wanted to go for it and win the game. They were very vehement. You could just tell. So I called timeout.”
And he sent the offense back on the field.
“It was fourth-and-short and I believe in our offensive line,” Jackson told Sports Illustrated after the game. “I believe in myself and my team. Coach believed in us, obviously, because we went for it.”
It all paid off when Jackson took off with the ball on a designed run, picking up the first down and continuing into the end zone to give the Ravens a lead they never relinquished.
“Whatever it takes to help us win,” Jackson said following the Ravens’ 30-16 win. “I’m trying to compete for my team and find a way to win. That’s it.”
Yanda added: “That touchdown was cool — an all-time great situation. ... It was an awesome moment.”