Reading the eyes of
The pivotal turnover set up rookie kicker
Graham also intercepted Manning during the first half, returning an interception 39 yards for a touchdown off a pass intended for wide receiver
"It was a tipped ball," Graham said. "You run to the ball and Chykie got his hand on the ball, and was able to tip it up and it came right to me. It was just one of those plays, being in the right spot.
"On the second one, I was in coverage and Stokley turned it up the field on me. I was recovering, trying to get back to him and I was able to undercut him and get underneath it. It was one of those plays, it was big."
Manning lost two fumbles and was sacked three times, completing 28 of 43 passes for three touchdowns and an 88.3 passer rating as he was outdueled by Ravens quarterback
"No, I didn't feel like his arm had less juice or anything like that," Graham said when asked if Manning had less arm strength late in the game. "It's overtime, you are obviously going to be more aggressive, be more up there and try to make some plays. In overtime, the corners tightened it up and we were able to make some plays."
Graham became a starter after the season-ending injury to top cornerback
"I knew from the beginning that this was the best decision I ever made in my life," Graham said. "Well, one of the best. Probably marrying my wife was the best. Coach Harbaugh gives guys a chance to come out and play.
"He told me before I signed here that if I deserved to play that I would, and he's a man of his word. He gave me the opportunity to play and that's all I've asked for."
Line contains Denver pass rushers
The Ravens' offensive line prevented the Broncos' formidable pass rushing tandem of
Miller and Dumervil split one sack, the only time that Flacco was dropped in the Ravens' backfield in what amounted to a coverage sack when no one got open. He was only hit three times for the game.
"They guy I'm most proud of is my left tackle,
A former Pro Bowl blocker, McKinnie lost his starting job prior to the regular season and took a $1 million paycut down to a $2.2 million base salary.
This marked his second game starting on the left side as
"I'm proud of Mike and myself," McKinnie said. "I think a lot of people had doubts and weren't sure. The Denver guys are really good. I'm proud of the whole offensive line. We all fought. Nobody blinked and everybody stuck together."
The Ravens also rushed for 155 yards on 39 carries as Rice gained a game-high 131 yards on 30 carries. The Ravens were shut down in the first game against Denver, rushing for just 56 yards on 19 carries.
"We played our hearts out," said Osemele, a second-round draft pick from Iowa State. "It was really a test of our will and who wanted it more. At the end of the day, the better team won, the better unit won. I'm really proud of the way the tackles played. They played a phenomenal game. Those guys stepped up."
The Ravens didn't report any injuries afterward, but rookie running back
Dealing with a nagging knee injury, Pierce was limping around the locker room and received treatment afterward.
Pierce rushed for just 14 yards on five carries, appearing to be hampered physically after rushing for 103 yards the previous week in an AFC wild-card playoff victory over the
Hours before the Ravens and Denver Broncos started crashing into each other, NFL commissioner Roger
Goodell reiterated that player safety is of paramount concern to the league.
Meeting with a small group of reporters following a fan forum, Goodell discussed the finding from the National Institute of Health that the late NFL linebacker
Seau committed suicide in May in California, dying at age 43 of a self-inflicted shotgun blast after playing two decades in the NFL.
"It's why we're investing in the research is to find out more about it, CTE in particular, but also brain injury and brain disease," Goodell said. "And we need to have a lot more research because there's still unfortunately a lot of unknowns."
At a time when the NFL is facing multiple concussion-related lawsuits, Goodell indicated that the league has provided a $30 million research grant to
"We haven't waited for the research," Goodell said. "We've been making changes for the game, making rule changes, making equipment changes. Medicine has a ways to go. We need to fund more research. We have that in our collective bargaining agreement, to have $100 million worth of research.
"We've funded $30 million to the NIH last fall, so that research is under way and I think that will be beneficial in treatment and also in what we can do in continuing to make not just football safer but every other sport."
Alluding to Ravens strong safety
"We're trying to take the head out of the game," Goodell said. "It goes back to using the fundamentals. You need to tackle with your shoulder."