The Ravens couldn't have started much slower than they did in Miami Sunday. They went three-and-out on their first three drives while Miami built a 10-point lead on its first two possessions.
But just when it looked like Baltimore's playoff hopes were fading out of sight, the Ravens rallied. They've faced adversity plenty of times this season and keep finding a way to overcome.
Quarterback Joe Flacco led the Ravens back and the defensive pass rush was ferocious, especially in the second half, as Baltimore notched a huge win in Miami, 28-13.
After losing defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to suspension this week, and despite going against a talented offense on the road, the Ravens defense allowed just three second-half points.
Turning Point Of The GameThe Ravens slogged through much of the first half, and their only good offensive possession ended with Flacco throwing a bad interception in the end zone. But on the next offensive series, Flacco engineered a 97-yard touchdown drive in three minutes, six seconds to close out the half. He went 7-for-9 for 63 yards on the drive and had a 15-yard run to kick it off. Flacco ended it with a 1-yard pass to Steve Smith Sr. on third-and-1 with two seconds left. The drive put the Ravens back in the game with all the momentum and they never looked back.
- Smith Sr. dropped a would-be 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter. On the next play, Flacco was pressured and threw a lobbed jump ball to Smith, which was intercepted in the end zone by Dolphins cornerback R.J. Stafford.
- With the Ravens at their own 34-yard line, Head Coach John Harbaugh elected to go for it on fourth-and-1. Flacco forged ahead for the first down on a quarterback sneak, continuing a touchdown drive on Baltimore's first possession of the second half.
- With the Dolphins driving early in the fourth quarter, the Ravens pushed them back and linebacker C.J. Mosley forced a field goal with a sack on third down, keeping Baltimore ahead, 14-13.
- With the Ravens on the Dolphins' 2-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, Flacco was hit and lost the ball. It was originally ruled a fumble, recovered by Miami, but overturned after review. Justin Forsett ran it into the end zone on the next play, giving the Ravens a 21-13 lead.
- Forsett's streak of three straight 100-yard games ended, but his 44-yard run with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter put the Ravens in range to make it a two-score game and take pressure off the defense. Baltimore put the game out of reach with a seven-play, 81-yard drive in two minutes, 54 seconds, capped by a Flacco sneak for the touchdown.
Stand-Out Performer:Flacco had one of his best games of the season at a critical time. He made one bad mistake with an interception thrown in the end zone, but outside of that was pinpoint sharp. Flacco finished 25-of-33 for 269 yards and two passing touchdowns. He was also 3-for-3 on quarterback sneaks, either converting for a first down or a touchdown, including a 1-yard plunge to all but seal the game.
What This MeansIt was essentially a must-win game for the Ravens. With the win, paired by a Bengals loss, Baltimore is just a half-game behind the AFC North division leader. It also gives the Ravens a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Dolphins that could be useful in a wild-card chase.
Stat Of The GameOutside linebacker Elvis Dumervil notched 3.5 sacks and broke Peter Boulware's single-season sack record (15), set in 2001. Dumervil now has 16 sacks on the season.
Quote Of The Day"Guts. Our guys just played their hearts out. To be depleted the way we were ... to start off the way we did and come back and get stronger as the game went on, it's such a statement for our guys." – Head Coach John Harbaugh
On The HorizonThe Ravens will return home to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who sit in last place in the AFC South with a 2-11 record.
Check out the best game action and behind-the-scenes photos from the field in Miami as the Ravens battle the Dolphins in a critical AFC match-up.