Almost everyone (including me) thought that the Baltimore Ravens didn’t have a chance against the Denver Broncos. Denver was on a roll. Baltimore just didn’t look good. I don’t think that even fans in Baltimore are totally sold on Joe Flacco. Ray Rice didn’t seem to be as dominant as he had been in the past… but that’s why they play the game.
I’m not sure that anyone would have guessed that the Ravens would give up a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff for a touchdown. Advantage Broncos.
The Broncos came into this game with a great defense (second in total defense, giving up only 291 yards per game and fourth in total points per game). The Ravens racked up over 470 yards of offense. Who would have thought that Champ Bailey would get burned for not one but two long touchdowns? Champ Bailey. Future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey burned, smoked, roasted and toasted for two touchdowns! That’s why they play the game.
Peyton Manning. Peyton “four neck surgeries in 18 months” Manning. Peyton, on-the-field coach, future Hall of Famer Manning threw not one, but two interceptions and even had a fumble. It was worse than a sub-par game. The last interception needed to be seen to be believed. Peyton was flushed out of the pocket to his right. While on the run, he threw back across his body to a well covered Stokely and the ball was easily intercepted. This was in overtime. Overtime is when you have to take care of the ball. I’m still shaking my head. This is why they play the game.
Finally, with less than two minutes to go in regulation, the Ravens had a long way to go for touchdown. It was second and long. Flacco dropped back and I’m not sure who his first read was. He looked around, then threw a 60-yard bomb to Jones. Now, the Broncos are in the perfect defense. It is a three-deep zone. How the safety on Jones’ side of the field let anyone, including the referee, get behind him is beyond me.
This is why they play the game. Crazy things can happen. Congratulations to the Ravens for hanging in there and fighting to the very end.