VIDEO: Remembering When the Ravens Trolled the Bengals on This Intentional Safety & Holding Call

By michael obermuller
The bizarre intentional holding and safety strategy that the Baltimore Ravens used to win a game back in 2016.
The bizarre intentional holding and safety strategy that the Baltimore Ravens used to win a game back in 2016. / NFL on CBS
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Every so often in the NFL, we see that the rule book can be exploited by the clever, creative thinkers that coach these franchises. Recently, both Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel exploited a punt loophole that could be used to waste time off the clock.

Back in 2016, another NFL loophole was famously exploited by the Baltimore Ravens, which allowed them to hang on in a game against the rival Cincinnati Bengals.

Punter Sam Koch's task is to waste the final 11 seconds off the clock before stepping out for a game-ending safety, up 19-12. He succeeds in his assignment, but only because his entire team wrestles their opposing defender to the ground.

The brilliantly orchestrated team holding strategy was left unaccounted for in the NFL rule book, and not only did it embarrass a rival, it ensured a key victory at the time. The San Francisco 49ers employed a similar strategy to keep the New Orleans Saints from attempting a first half Hail Mary that same season.

This must have been infuriating from a Bengals perspective, but the truth is that they were unlikely to win this game either way. The problem was that they were never allowed the chance, with the Ravens adding insult to injury.

Of course, this loophole was banned shortly after the 2016 season ended, which generally happens in these cases. It's the NFL's way of saying, "bravo, you got us, just don't do it again."


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Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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