This Friday we take a look at one of the most iconic plays in Baltimore Ravens franchise history: The “Mile High Miracle”
The Baltimore Ravens have only been a franchise for a little over 20 years, but they still have plenty of memorable moments. No moment is more memorable than the Mile High Miracle.
A grudge match between the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos in the 2012 AFC Divisional round featured a 70-yard miracle touchdown throw by Joe Flacco late in the 4th quarter. It was tight game full of excitement, emotion and a whole lot of destiny.
After a 10-6 regular season, the Ravens were crowned AFC North Champions and clinched a home Wild-Card game. The bigger news? Linebacker Ray Lewis announced that he would be retiring after the end of the season. It was a major shock considering Lewis was the face of the franchise. The team was determined to send Lewis out on top with a Super Bowl win, but the road to New Orleans was not easy by any means.
The Ravens opened their playoffs with a Wild-Card game against the Indianapolis Colts. It was the last game for Lewis in M&T Bank Stadium because the Ravens were the #4 seed. They dominated on both sides of the ball and won 24-9.
Their next test? An AFC Divisional game against the Peyton Manning and the #1 seed Denver Broncos. Coming in as heavy underdogs, the Ravens weren’t given much of a chance. The two teams met in the regular season and the Broncos won handily 34-17. It proved to be a little different the second time around.
The game was an emotional rollercoaster that featured two teams answering each only on every possession. There were 28 points scored in the first 11 minutes of the game. The Broncos held a 35-28 lead late the in the 4th quarter from a Demaryius Thomas touchdown and then things got interesting..
Down 28-35 with 43 seconds left in the game, it seemed like things were over. But on a 3rd down and 3, Joe Flacco avoided two defenders, stepped up in the pocket and threw a bomb. The 70-yard pass sailed just over Tony Carter, the outstretched arms of Rahim Moore and into the hands of Jacoby Jones for the touchdown. The play left the entire stadium in shock. The Ravens, who seemingly had no chance, were able to tie the game on a miracle pass.
The Broncos elected to take a knee on the final possession in regular time and sent the game into overtime.
It was once again another back and fourth battle. With just over a minute left in the first overtime period, Peyton Manning rolled out to the right and threw a terrible pass to Brandon Stokley. The pass was intercepted by Corey Graham, which set up an eventual 47-yard field goal by rookie Justin Tucker for the win in double-overtime.
An underdog Ravens team came into Denver and shocked the #1 seed. This game really proved that the Ravens were on a track of destiny.
An Eventual Super Bowl Win
After the miracle in Denver, the Ravens traveled to New England for a rematch of the 2011 AFC Championship. This time there was no Billy Cundiff field goal and the Ravens got the last laugh. They won convincingly 28-13. This sent them to the Super Bowl. They went on to win a 34-31 thriller against the San Fransisco 49ers. Ray Lewis got his second Super Bowl ended his career the perfect way.
There’s no doubt that the team rode destiny. The Ray Lewis announcement before the playoffs leading to a Super Bowl win is exactly how it should have gone and it did. A big reason for this was the play of Joe Flacco. Flacco had a stretch of 11 touchdowns to 0 interceptions in the playoffs. If it weren’t for his throw in the first place, there would be no Mile High Miracle.