Flashback Friday: Baltimore Ravens beat Vikings in the snow
Remember when the Minnesota Vikings came to M&T Bank Stadium and battled the Baltimore Ravens in the snow?
The Baltimore Ravens snowy game against the Minnesota Vikings could almost be compared to a basketball game, in the sense that it was all about the last two minutes of the game. In the 2013 battle, Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta scored the go ahead touchdown with just over two minutes on the game clock. Flacco then found Torrey Smith for the two point conversion.
The Ravens were up 15-12. One defensive stop could have ended the game. They didn’t get it. The Ravens defense was foiled by Matt Cassell and Toby Gerhart. Cassell had a long pass on the first play of possession. Then the Vikings caught the Ravens expecting a pass. With bad tackling possibly because of the lack of good footing on the field, Gerhart ran for an amazing touchdown. The emotions swung hard. The Vikings had a 19-15 lead.
Jacoby Jones saved the day (for a moment) with a touchdown on the following kickoff. With the Justin Tucker extra point the Ravens had a 22-19 lead with one minute and 16 seconds on the game clock. Game over, right?
Well the Vikings showed that the game was very much on. After two straight incomplete passes from Cassell the Vikings found Cordarrelle Patterson on a short pass that he took for 79 yards and a touchdown. The Ravens had just 45 seconds to work with, Game over, right?
Joe Flacco worked up some magic to give the Baltimore Ravens the win. After a touchback, Flacco hit Marlon Brown on a pass that got the Ravens just past mid field. On a side note, remember when Brown was seemingly an up and coming star? Anyway, back to the game.
The Ravens got lucky on their game winning drive. First, on a play where it looked like Flacco may have fumbled, it was ruled an incomplete pass. Secondly an interception was nullified by a pass interference penalty. After re-watching the play, that should have been a game winning pick by the Vikings. Dennis Pitta slipped in the snow and the officials reacted. For all the times the Ravens have felt wronged by the officiating of a game, they certainly caught a break here.
A pass to Dennis Pitta gave the Ravens the ball at the nine yard line with 10 seconds left. If the Ravens didn’t have one more timeout to burn, the clock would have likely ran out, as Pitta was tackled in the middle of the field. The game winning touchdown was scored on a pass to Brown, who leaped up in the air and showed incredible body control, getting both feet down in bounds. It may have been one of the best touchdown grabs in NFL history, Flacco put it up there and Brown went up and got it.
It was one of the most incredible games in NFL history and to be honest, that’s really just because of the fourth quarter. It was a sloppy game. Traction was a huge issue both teams had to deal with. One of the things that makes this game so unique is that the elements played into some of the big moments of the game. The Gerhart run, the pass interference penalty after Pitta slipped, Matt Elam falling down in pursuit of Patterson, a lot of this was the snow impacting the game.
It was a classic Joe Flacco Ravens win. Flacco came up in the clutch, but the Ravens made it as hard as possible to beat the Vikings. It was great, but it wasn’t easy which is the Flacco era in a nutshell. Flacco had some of his most timely passes in this game. The pass to Brown was almost reminiscent of “The Catch” with Joe Montana and Dwight Clark. It’s still hard to believe that Brown was able to come away with that touchdown.
Watching the highlights of that game, this morning, was a nice trip into the past. There were so many legends on the field for the Ravens. Flacco provided heroics. Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta played instrumental roles in the final moments. Jacoby Jones was such a fun return specialist to watch.
That time in Ravens history was something worth remembering. While the 2013 season was an up and down marathon where the Ravens fell short of the playoffs, there were some really amazing games that year. That was also the season Justin Tucker hit a 61 yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions.
This was almost like a regular season version of that epic battle with the Denver Broncos in the playoffs. The stakes weren’t as high, and it wasn’t as big of a moment. Still, you experienced a roller coaster of emotions as a Ravens fan. It yanked you from downright joy, to anxious despair to nervous hope all the way to relief that the Ravens were able to pull out the win. The best moment in sports make you have all the feels, and this is a great example of that.