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What I Learned – Ravens’ Don Martindale upset with Bengals’ late field goal

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Revenge might not be so sweetThe Ravens haven’t had a defensive shutout since Week 6 of the 2018 season. They were oh-so-close to another one in last week’s game against the Bengals, except Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor opted for the most meaningless of meaningless field goals.Down 27–0 with 32 seconds on the clock, Taylor sent out Randy Bullock for a 38-yard field goal. He made it. The Bengals knew the game was over, though, and didn’t even attempt an onside kick. The field goal was just about not going home empty-handed. (It was the fifth time since 1970 that a team kicked a field goal in the final minute to erase a shutout, according to ESPN.)The cheap field goal didn’t sit well with Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. He told reporters on Thursday that he yelled at someone on the Bengals’ sideline (perhaps Taylor, though it’s not clear) about the decision to kick. “He knew what it was because it was awful quiet when I yelled it across the field,” Martindale said. “There are some people that take that as a victory. We’ll see. We’ll have plenty to talk about the next time we play them.”But here’s the thing about that looming grudge match: It’s in Week 17. The Bengals stink this year, so that game isn’t likely to mean much for them. The rest of the division is pretty good, with the Steelers leading the way at 4–0. The Ravens and Browns are 4–1. If Baltimore is able to pull away in the division race, there’s a good chance that game will be as meaningless as Cincinnati’s field goal. If Pittsburgh and Cleveland keep pace and the game actually matters for the Ravens, then they’ve got some bulletin board material—as long as Martindale is able to get his defense jacked up over something that happened three months earlier and didn’t affect the outcome of the game. The best of SIClayton Kershaw struggled in the playoffs again. What does the narrative around his postseason woes mean? … Raiders defensive lineman Chris Smith has been through more in the past year than most people. … Braves closer Mark Melancon runs his own turf company. … Daryl Morey never won a title in 13 years in charge in Houston but still left quite the legacy. Around the sports worldThe SEC fined multiple schools for not properly adhering to COVID-19 protocols. … The Texas football team is divided over a traditional Longhorns song with racist origins. … LeBron James bought another Los Angeles mansion, this time the former home of actress Katharine Hepburn. What a shock. Gone too soon.This just keeps happeningThe Astros aren’t going home yetRandy Arozarena simply cannot be stoppedPeyton and Eli’s 16-year-old nephew is already having his games shown on ESPN2John Smoltz is the crankiest national baseball broadcasterMartindale’s got jokes, tooHe made a whole movie to announce his commitment and ended it on a cliff-hangerNot sportsA Massachusetts town is begging residents to stop calling the cops on a fish. … A Boston news anchor was fired for appearing in Adam Sandler’s new movie Hubie Halloween. … The Game of Thrones prequel will apparently look very different from the original series after the new show’s filming location was confirmed. … NASA drafted a treaty to ensure peace on the moon.I was planning a trip here before the pandemicSoybean takedown!A good songEmail dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.


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