It all came down to a two-point conversion with the game on the line.
The Philadelphia Eagles had nothing to lose. The Ravens had everything to lose with their postseason life in jeopardy.
And Baltimore's defense held, preserving a 27-26 win at M&T Bank Stadium.
It once looked like the Ravens had the game in hand, but a late red-zone interception with about 6 minutes left led to an Eagles' comeback that suddenly left Baltimore hanging on for their 2016 season's life.
Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz ran for a touchdown in the final seconds for what could have been a game-tying touchdown (with the extra point). But the Eagles instead went for two.
Wentz tried to dump the ball underneath to wide receiver Jordan Matthews, but the pass was broken up at the line of scrimmage and the conversion failed.
That encapsulated the game – a struggle from start to finish.
The Ravens jumped out to a quick lead, then lost it. They re-took a lead at halftime, then added to it in the fourth quarter, but once again scared their fans with an ill-timed quarterback Joe Flacco interception in the final minutes when the game looked to be all but over.
Baltimore's offense was hot and cold throughout the day. Flacco made a beauty of a throw on a 34-yard touchdown to wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. with nine seconds left in the first half, but finished 16-of-30 for 206 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception.
The Ravens' top-ranked rush defense allowed a whopping 169 rushing yards – more than double its average this season – but came up with the big stop when it mattered most.
The Ravens' season now turns to a critical game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Christmas day. The winner of that game will be in the driver's seat in the AFC North race with one game remaining.
- Linebacker Zachary Orr picked off Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz's first pass of the game and the offense turned it into a quick touchdown via 31 yards from running back Terrance West and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken, putting Baltimore ahead, 7-0, less than four minutes into the game.
- With the Ravens backed up into their own zone, Eagles outside linebacker Nigel Bradham sacked Flacco, who fumbled the ball back to Philadelphia at the 8-yard line. Eagles running back Ryan Mathews punched it into the end zone on the next play and converted on a two-point conversion leap to give the Eagles an 11-10 lead in the first minute of the second quarter.
- The Ravens looked to be putting themselves in position for a field goal before the end of the half, but Flacco pump faked and hit Steve Smith Sr. with a 34-yard dart with nine seconds left to give the Ravens a 20-14 lead at halftime.
- Philadelphia had a surprising amount of success with its rushing game, especially with two backup offensive linemen and against the league's top-ranked rush defense. The Eagles got field goals at the end of 17 and 13-play drives. The second ended with a 27-yard field goal that narrowed the Ravens' lead to 20-17 near the start of the fourth quarter.
- The Ravens scored a touchdown on a misdirection flip-toss to rookie running back Kenneth Dixon, in which rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley paved the way with big blocking. The 16-yard touchdown run capped a 69-yard drive that put Baltimore ahead, 27-17, with 11 minutes left.
- After a 54-yard catch and run by Mike Wallace, Flacco was picked off by linebacker Jordan Hicks on a pass underneath. Just when Baltimore had the Eagles on the ropes, they let them back in the game. Baltimore's defense held in the red zone, however, surrendering just a 29-yard field goal.
- The Ravens survived Philadelphia's comeback when the Eagles opted for a two point-conversion instead of an extra point, and Wentz' pass to Matthews fell to the ground with four seconds left.
Standout Performer of the Game
WR Steve Smith Sr.
Smith hauled in a huge 34-yard touchdown pass at the end of the first half, then came up with a tough third-down grab that extended the Ravens' only touchdown drive of the second half.
On The Horizon
The Ravens will head to Pittsburgh for a Christmas day game that may decide the AFC North.
Check out all the best photos from M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens host the Eagles.