The Ravens are headed to the playoffs!
The Ravens have to thank The Kansas City Chiefs for helping to secure their playoff spot. The Chiefs beat the San Diego Chargers, allowing Baltimore to make it into the wildcard slot with their win over the Browns. In order for the Chiefs to make the playoffs, they needed the Browns and the Jaguars to win their games, and up until the fourth quarter it looked like the Browns would. Baltimore ended up scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter to make the comeback and get the victory 20-10.
In the first three quarters of the game, the Ravens only scored on a field goal by Justin Tucker. Cleveland had a six point lead going into the final 15 minutes. That’s when Baltimore began to look like a completely different team. Flacco threw for two touchdowns, one to Torrey Smith and the other to Kamar Aiken. The Ravens offense wasn’t able to get anything going on the ground until the fourth quarter, to help with the comeback. Joe Flacco had 22 completions on 36 attempts with 312 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Justin Forsett had 17 rushing attempts for 119 yards.
The big play on offense that turned the momentum around came on a play action pass that went 53 yards to Torrey Smith, which setup a touchdown to Smith on the very next play. On the following Cleveland drive, the defense made some key stops and forced a punt allowing Flacco and the offense to go to work again. Forsett had some key runs on this drive, setting up a pass to Steve Smith Sr. that would put the ball at the two yard line. The drive ended with a catch by Kamar Aiken in the end zone.
The Baltimore defense at times played sloppy. They allowed the Browns offense to get 10 points on the board, but for the most part they played pretty solid, including a fumble recovery on the Brown’s first possession and an interception late in the game to seal the victory. The defense picked up four sacks on rookie quarterback Connor Shaw. They stepped up when they needed to, especially on the Brown’s last offensive drive that ended in an interception by Lardarius Webb.
Overall this game was uneventful and very frustrating from a fan’s perspective. The fact that they made the playoffs has me excited, but also a bit worried as the Ravens have played slow the past few weeks. I’m hoping that this chance in the postseason will spark new life in the team, that they will make some things happen and have a chance at winning another Super Bowl. I would like to think I’m an optimistic person and that’s how I’m looking at this situation. The Ravens can and will beat the odds.
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