John Harbaugh blasts NFL over changing time of Week 17 game
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh isn’t happy with the NFL over the decision to change the time of kickoff for Sunday’s critical Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I don’t think the NFL did us any favors by moving it back,” Harbaugh said Tuesday, via ESPN. “But they don’t care about us. So, we just have to care about ourselves. We have to take care of our own business. That goes for our team, for our fans and for our city. Let’s go win the football game.”
The NFL shifted kickoff for several games this coming Sunday. The decision was made — five have been moved from 1:00 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. ET — because of playoff implications. But with Sunday being New Year’s Eve, Harbaugh worries a later kickoff may prompt some fans to skip the game at M&T Stadium because the game time conflicts with holiday plans.
“I don’t know what their considerations are at the league office, and why they do what they do,” Harbaugh said. “I really don’t care, other than the fact that I hope our fans are OK with it. I hope they’re into it. I hope people get there. The people who have plans, I hope they give their tickets to someone else so they get there. I want the place to be packed and loud.”
The Ravens (9-6) can clinch a spot in the postseason with a victory over the Bengals (6-9). Baltimore can also back into the playoffs even with a loss should either the Tennessee Titans (8-7) and Buffalo Bills (8-7) also lose.
That said, it’s relatively unprecedented for the NFL to make such drastic changes to the schedule. While the case can be made it will make for a much more entertaining Sunday for fans, it’s evident at least one head coach involved isn’t thrilled with the NFL’s decision.