Ravens Prevail in OT: Rapid thoughts
November 25, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith (82) reacts after a 31-yard completion in overtime against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Ravens won 16-13 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
It took almost every single second of the allotted 15 minute overtime period, but the Ravens finally pulled out the victory on the leg of Justin Tucker and his second game winning score of the season. that was one of the most suspenseful games of the season, maybe one of the most suspenseful of the Harbaugh area.
-After being completely flat for nearly 3 quarters and 5 road games, the Ravens finally showed the ability to play offense on the road. The Ravens last few drives looked like the Ravens offense at home. they scored a Dennis Pitta TD on a near perfect drive from Flacco where his only incompletion was a Ray Rice drop on a screen pass. Then they marched down the field to set up a game tying field goal using what I think might be the play of the season, certainly the play of the Ravens season. then in OT, they got one scoring drive and one solid drive that ended close to mid field. This might prove to be a major breakthrough for the Ravens offense, have they finally figured out the secrets to NFL road games?
-What to say about Ray Rice. he gets one of the three game balls for me. Rice had unmistakable the play of the game when he went 30 yards off a screen on 4th and 29 Rice converted multiple third downs and seemed to make big play after big play down the stretch. what a game for Rice.
-My Second Game Ball goes to Torrey Smith. Torrey mad some huge plays as well. he made an incredible catch late in the game to set up the game winning field goal, he had a 57 yarder that was the offenses first big play and seemed to jumpstart the offense. he had a nice catch and run on a short play in the fourth quarter on the tying field goal drive. Torrey finished with 7 receptions for 144 yards(just over 20 yards per reception, he averages over 17 per reception for the season.)
-My Third game ball might surprise you, but im giving it to Brenden Ayenbedejo. HE made 2 mig special teams plays and every third down in OT, it seemed like he was the defender on the play and he won most of those battles. the Chargers seemed to target BA, but it backfired on them as he made the play every time. this ball was a touch choice between BA, Flacco and Cary Williams, but in the end BAs clutch plays on defense and the fact that i had already given 2 balls to the offense made the choice clear.
– Speaking of Flacco, lets have a chat about him real quick. Flacco was terrible in the first half, he had like 59 yards or something horrible like that, in any even it was less than 100. then he struggled at the start of the third quarter and it was starting to look like one of those road games that the Ravens just came out and laid an egg in and scurried back to the confines of M&T Bank in Baltimore. But something in Flacco clicked at some point and he made a decision that he wasnt going to lose this one. Flacco was incredible in the late third quarter through the end of OT when, on his last pass, he hit Torry Smith for a huge gain on 3rd and 10. It was a gutsy throw on a gutsy day for Flacco as he aired out a jump ball on 3rd and 10 with the Ravens just barely inside field goal range. Flacco finished with, by far, his best road game completing 30 of 51 passes for 355 yards and a TD and no turnovers. this could be a huge confidence booster for Flacco and the offense. nearly all of his stats came late in the game.
-The Defense was stellar today as well. they held the Chargers to 13 points and sacked Rivers a whopping 7 times. Cary Williams played especially well after being beat for the Chargers only TD early in the game. he made an excellent play by knocking a pass away from Alexander in OT that would have set up a first down close to FG range for the Chargers. perfect coverage on that play.
-The Ravens all but sealed up the division today. the Steelers lost to the Browns so with the Ravens win they now hold a 3 game lead in division with head to head wins over both the Bengals and Steelers. A Win next week against Pittsburgh would send the Steelers down 4 games with 4 games to go and since the Ravens would have the tiebreaker, that would end the Steelers chance at a division title. the Bengals might hang around extending the division race by a week or two, but trailing 3 games with 5 to go, it is only a matter of time before the Ravens mathematically win the division, they have already pretty much wrapped this thing up though.