The Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Diego Charges with a field goal in overtime 16-13. That game was probably one of the most exceptional games I have seen, especially the run by Baltimore Ravens #27 Ray Rice had. 29 yards on 4th down and he got it by about a foot. It was good, smart thinking on Joe Flacco’s part. He set the field up to throw a Hail Mary and instead threw underneath to Rice. Flacco had his Receivers go deep with 8 of the Chargers defensive players. The Chargers were prepared for the Hail Mary pass… everyone was expecting a Hail Mary pass. So, when Joe threw a short pass to Ray Rice, the Chargers were taken off guard and had to hustle. It was lucky play, but it was also a talent showcase. Flacco made the right call, Rice had the right moves, and the offensive line was able to block. I think this play is going down in Ravens history as one of the greatest plays. It won them the game, no question about it.
It’s hard to say the Chargers made a bad play. They had every reason to believe Flacco would go for the Hail Mary. With 29 yards for a 1st on the 4th down, to think it could be done as a short running pass would have seemed incredibly unlikely. They did the right thing preparing for the Hail Mary. The credit really has to go to the Ravens on this one. That play had everything and it kept their drive alive. It was a game changer.
There were so many big plays at the end of that game. The beginning was so lack luster that going into the half, I think most of Baltimore was feeling glum. Both teams had been playing cat and mouse. I know I was in doubt. I thought “oh, here we go again…”. The Ravens are always so hot or so cold. In the first half, they were cold as a fish in the freezer. They made no big plays and they capitalized on nothing. They had no points on the board. Something happened during half time. My guess is Coach Harbaugh must have been pretty upset and had some choice words with the team. He would have told them that they all needed to adjust and act like a team… and that’s what we saw in the second half.
Winning any football game is a team effort. If we’d only seen that big play from Ray Rice, the Ravens wouldn’t have won. There was also the fantastic reception by Torrey Smith in over time getting the Ravens into field goal range and of course Tucker getting the ball between the uprights. The defense stepped up and stopped the Chargers from scoring in overtime. It was a great game. I think that in the end they came together as a team and that’s what you have to do in the NFL. These guys are thinking that way right now. With the possibility of Ray Lewis coming back within a week or two weeks along with the team we saw Sunday in the second half, their credibility for their drive to the championship in strong.