Every week, blogger Matt Vensel breaks down a critical play, sometimes with the help of
Late Monday night, more than 48 hours after the Ravens defeated the top-seeded
Sure, that's a little silly knowing what we know now, but it speaks to the nature of an intense, unforgettable game that will go down not only as one of the greatest games in Ravens history, but football history as well.
"I don't know if I'm amazed but it was pretty incredible," quarterback Joe Flacco said Saturday night after leading one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history. "We overcame some things today and we fought to the very end. … When some of those things did happen, no one worried. We just said, 'All right, our turn.'"
The comeback drive, which will become even more legendary if the Ravens advance and win the
It started slowly, with Flacco misfiring on a pass to tight end
After rushing back to the line of scrimmage, the Ravens had wide receiver
The Broncos, meanwhile, had seven defensive backs on the field and went with a preventive zone defense on this play. They dropped three men into deep zone coverages and had four cornerbacks spread across the field to take away intermediate routes. The Broncos rushed just three players, with
It wasn’t Miller or Dumervil who initially disrupted the play, though. Offensive tackles
Flacco, whose pocket awareness has been better over the past month, smartly stepped up into the pocket, swiveling his hips to avoid Ayers then rotating his torso back to uncork a prayer down the right sideline.
"I told myself that Joe might throw me the ball, so I better haul off the line," Jones said after the game.
Jones, who had a key third-down drop on Baltimore’s previous possession, streaked down the right side past Broncos cornerback
"I just misjudged it. I let it get over my head first of all and I didn't do what I do best which is watch the flight of the ball and I didn't do that right. I didn't capitalize and it hurt us. I'm speechless right now. I don't know even know what to say," Moore said after the game, though the poor kid did find the words to pin the blame on himself.
The high-arcing pass, which seemed to hover in the thin air at
"I've never seen anything like that," Smith said. "You play some games on Madden and you can't even do that."
Years from now, when the football world (outside of Denver) looks back on this upset, the enduring image will be Flacco finding Jones for his third touchdown of the game. Flacco made many big throws, including his completion to Pitta out of his own end zone in overtime, but none was bigger than that 70-yard touchdown to Jones, the one that kept the Ravens’ season alive and prolonged the career of
"I've never been part of a game like that. It was incredible," Pitta said, reminiscing, Monday afternoon. "We knew we had a good shot of winning that game. ... It was a great win and one I'll remember for a long time."