Back to the Future: Ravens vs. Vikings 2009


Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings come to Baltimore tomorrow in what begins a stretch of four regular-season must-win games for the Ravens. Mother Nature plans to be there as well with ice, sleet and snow in the cold forecast.

Just for fun, I decided to jump in my Delorean and head back to October 18, 2009 – the last time the Ravens played the Vikings. You won’t believe what I saw.

It was a mild Sunday in Minneapolis that day at 63 degrees. It was actually colder inside the Dome where the temperature is kept at a steady 60 degrees.

The 3-2 Ravens were in town to take on the 5 and 0 Vikings, led by QB, Brett Favre. Yes, that Brett Favre.

The Ravens were getting man-handled for most of the game and were down 27-10 in the fourth quarter. But second-year QB, Joe Flacco was about to step on the gas.

The Ravens scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, taking their first lead of the game, 31-30, on a TD pass to #85, Derrick Mason. Yes, that Derrick Mason. The Vikings responded with a 31-yard field goal, retaking the lead, 33-31, with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

Flacco drove the Ravens down the field and, with two seconds left in the game, the Ravens trotted out Steve Hauschka, yes, that Steve Hauschka, to seal the deal and win the game with a 44-yard field goal. The Ravens had cut longtime Kicker, Matt Stover to, “go in a different direction.”

Hauschka lined up for the kick, the wind was…non-existent inside the Dome. Everything pointed to a Ravens victory. Except, Hauschka’s kick sailed wide left and that was that. Ravens lose a heart breaker and go to 3-3 heading into their bye week. Hauschka was released by the Ravens less than a month later.

Some interesting facts about the 2009 season:

  • The Ravens finished 9-7 that year, in second place behind the Bengals. The Browns and Steelers failed to make the playoffs.
  • The Ravens claimed the 6th seed in the playoffs with a Wild card berth, steam-rolling the Patriots 33-14 in New England, then losing to Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, 20-3.
  • Like this year, the Ravens played the NFC North in 2009, compiling a 2-2 record.
  • The 53-man squad that day included former Ravens, Derrick Mason, Willis McGahee , Mark Clayton, Todd Heap, Jared Gaither, Ben Grubbs, Jarret Johnson, Ray Lewis, Paul Kruger, Dawan Landry, Ed Reed, Billy Cundiff, Dominique Foxworth, Samari Rolle, Matt Birk and Cary Wiiliams.
  • Our top draft picks that season were Michael Oher (23), Paul Kruger (57) and Lardarius Webb (88).
  • The Ravens had a perfect preseason and won their first three regular-season games in 2009.
  • Cam Cameron was our Offensive Coordinator and Greg Mattison our Defensive Coordinator; Rex Ryan was hired that year to lead the Jets.

My how things have changed. And some things have not! The Ravens will likely finish 9-7 this year and (hopefully) eek into the Playoffs.

With a little luck, we’ll end up facing Peyton again; this time in Denver. Sound familiar? It should. Let’s hope we repeat our victory from last year against him and the mile-high horses.

Before returning to the present, I juiced up the flux capacitor and headed to just after this Sunday’s Ravens game and actually saw the final score.

Ravens win, 16-12.