Great Teams Create Their Own Luck: Ravens Avenge Chargers, 16-13
Heading into week 12, the Ravens knew they had a tough task on their hands matching up against a team (San Diego Chargers) they have previously lost to last season (34-14) and whose backs’ were against the wall in 2012, losing their last 5 out of 6 games.
Slug fest was written all over this one before it began, and I should have known! Both teams know one another pretty well but more importantly, the Chargers, a pass first team, have major pass protection problems with Jared Gaither recently placed on I.R., while the Ravens have been struggling to play quality ball on the road most of the season (L to Philly, L to Texans, 3 point win over Finger Less Chiefs (http://presnapread.net/2012/10/08/ravens-dodge-bullet-to-finger-less-chiefs-in-week-5/), 3 point win over Ben Roethlisbergerless Steelers). Either way, you get my drift. There were 11 sacks netted through out the entire contest, and Philip Rivers only through for 228 yards at home against the 5th worst team in pass coverage this season.
Game on: It took the Ravens until the fourth quarter with 4 minutes and twenty three seconds left on the clock to get their first touchdown on the day as Flacco hooked up with Dennis Pitta from 4 yards out in the back of the end zone ( 9 play 90 yard drive) to tighten up the game, trailing the Chargers thereafter by just 3 (13-10).
On Your Feet in Qualcomm: On the ensuing drive the Chargers go three and out and the momentum noticeably shifts in the Ravens’ favor as Jacoby Jones returns a punt for 23 yards that sets Baltimore up at their own 40 yard line with 3 minutes left on the clock and two time outs yet to be called for a chance win/tie the game. The Ravens would then struggle to move the chains with 3 incomplete passes, a 2nd down holding call on Marshall Yanda, and a 3rd down Antwan Barnes strip fumble on Joe Flacco that was reluctantly recovered by Ravens’ tackle Michael Oher, giving the Ravens just one more chance to convert for a first on fourth a 29 at their own 37.
The Play that Gets Norv Turner Fired: Joe Flacco dumps the ball off over the middle to Ray Rice and Ray finds a way to stiff arm one defender and run by 8 more on terrible pursuit angles, crossing the first down marker to keep the drive alive to set up a Justin Tucker field goal for the tie, it’s good! (13-13)
Let’s Go to Overtime Baby: The Chargers won the toss, elected to receive, and failed to impress. They mounted up a quality opening drive to start overtime, but when given another chance to redeem their initial efforts after a stalled Baltimore Ravens’ drive, they went three and out immediately afterwards. Torrey Smith saved the day for the Ravens on a 31 yard catch that set up Justin Tucker for a game winning field goal, boooom! Someone had to do it. The Ravens beat the Chargers 16-13, go 9-2 on the season,still remain on top of the AFC North, and have officially put together the best winning start in franchise history. Way to go fellows, as for Chargers fans, don’t watch any post game press conferences!
The Ravens will travel back at home in week 13 to take on the “just trying to hang on, Ben Roethlisbergerlss, just lost to the Browns” Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5). Oh yeah, great news Ravens’ fans: Ray Lewis is nearing a return!!!! If all goes well, he will be back in week 15 before the postseason.Rumors have it that he could actual start practicing this week. Way to go platelet-rich plasma therapy! GET IT RAY!