At First Glance: Ravens vs. Chargers


John Eisenberg: The Ravens appeared out of it several times but rallied improbably to force overtime and then the win. The play that will be talked about was the fourth-and-29, last-gasp shot that the Ravens converted on a pass to Ray Rice, who battled his way for a 30-yard gain. Amazing stuff. Might just be the play of the year. It led to a 38-yard, last-second Justin Tucker field goal that forced overtime. Another drive produced another 38-yard Tucker field goal to win it. The offensive heroics will be in the headlines, but the defense won the game, keeping the Chargers out of the end zone over the game's final 53 minutes. The offense experienced another road horror show until the Ravens were down 10 with 7:51 to play. But when the offense finally awoke, it really did, with a flurry of huge plays from Joe Flacco, Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and more. To snatch this one on the road after trailing late makes it one of the best wins of the season.

Ryan Mink:  A signature win for the Ravens. It looked like they were done. I mean, it was fourth-and-29. But Ray Rice wouldn't let the team lose, and neither did the rest of this team. Rice's miraculous 30-yard catch and run will live for a very long time in Baltimore highlights. Joe Flacco and the offense struggled for much of the game, but came alive down the stretch. People can question the Ravens' 9-2 record, and they definitely need to be more consistent on offense on the road, but this team knows how to win. That's the simple truth. What a comeback. What an amazing win in San Diego.

Garrett Downing:What a comeback. This game will be remembered for a long time to come. After three and a half quarters of tough sledding for the offense, Joe Flacco and company found their stride at exactly the right time. Flacco led the Ravens on two scoring drives in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and then a Justin Tucker field goal in the extra session gave the Ravens a 16-13 victory. The win improves the Ravens to 9-2 on the season, and gives them a three-game edge over the Steelers and Bengals in the division. The late comeback makes it much easier to forget a day that was mostly frustrating for the offense, outside of the late scoring drives. This game had plenty of plays that Ravens fans will remember, specifically Ray Rice's miraculous run on a screen pass on fourth-and-29 in the fourth quarter. This win had the feel of a game that could be a turning point in the season, and the Ravens should feel great about coming out on the winning end with just five games to play.

Sarah Ellison:  Ray freaking Rice! The Pro Bowl running back saved the game with a 30-yard run on a screen pass on fourth-and-29 with just over a minute remaining. Yes, fourth down and 29 loooong yards. The super-human effort set up the game-tying field goal by Justin Tucker to send it to overtime, where receiver Torrey Smith pulled in a super-human 31-yard catch that set up the game-winning field goal. Tucker is developing a reputation for being clutch. It's mind-boggling that the Ravens pulled out the win after three quarters of pull-your-hair-out offensive play. It's becoming a trendy way of winning – ugly squeakers. Also, it's important to give a shout out to the defense for knocking big-bodied Phillip Rivers to the ground six times – the most sacks in a game this season.  The unit kept the team in the game. All that matters now is that Baltimore holds a three-game lead in the AFC North and have reason to celebrate.

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