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Ravens vs. Cardinals Highlights
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They previously came back from 19 points down against Tennessee in November of 2006. Sunday's comeback is even more critical considering the circumstances.
A team many were touting as perhaps the strongest in the AFC a week ago, the Ravens were at serious risk of losing their second-straight game to an opponent riding five straight losses.
"That's a win that comes from here," Head Coach John Harbaugh said, pointing to his heart. "It's pretty special."
A porous first half set the stage for the comeback.
Baltimore's offense turned the ball over twice deep in its own zone, leading to 14 Cardinals points. The first was on a sack-strip on the 2-yard line, the second on an interception off a dropped pass by rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith.
The Ravens ran the ball well, but found no momentum in the passing game. Flacco had 98 passing yards in the first half. The special teams unit surrendered an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown.
But unlike last week, the Ravens snapped out of their funk.
The Ravens outgained the Cardinals, 249-56 yards, in the second half. They scored 24 unanswered points.
Baltimore scored 14 points in the third, a quarter in which Flacco threw for 167 yards and wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught five passes for 117 yards.
Flacco, coming on the heels of a week where pundits questioned his progress, completed 31 of a career-high 51 passing attempts for 336 yards.
Boldin had a monster game against his former teammates, hauling in seven passes for 145 yards and drawing a pair of key pass interference calls.
Running back Ray Rice, who had just eight carries for 28 yards against the Jaguars, ran 18 times for 63 yards and found the end zone three times for the first time in his four-year career.
"We woke up, plain and simple," Boldin said. "We still had a bitter taste in our mouth from last week; so we wanted to come out and rectify that."
Attacking with their young tight end duo of Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, the Ravens drove 80 yards on seven plays in two minutes, 47 seconds to start the half. Rice went untouched into the end zone for a one-yard score to cut the Cardinals' lead to 11 points at 24-13.
Flacco went 5-for-5 on the drive for 64 yards, including a beautiful 37-yard pass to Boldin along the right sideline.
They kept it up on their third drive of the half, this time going to Boldin. He caught four passes for 80 yards, including a one-handed snag along the sidelines and right in front of his former Cardinals teammates. Flacco went 7-for-8 for 103 yards on the drive.
All of a sudden, the Ravens had the momentum.
With M&T Bank Stadium awakened, the defense forced the big mistake it had been looking for all game.
Terrell Suggs – who finished with a team-high 13 tackles, including four for loss and one sack – broke free and cracked quarterback Kevin Kolb, forcing a fluttered pass that linebacker Jameel McClain intercepted.
The Ravens' offense stuck it into the end zone thanks to a third pass interference call on the Cardinals. Rice punched it in from three yards out for his third touchdown to give Baltimore a 27-24 lead.
The Cardinals didn't go away, however. And calls by the referees gave them a boost too.
Arizona put together a 12-play drive aided by two Ravens penalties on third down that gave Arizona automatic first downs. One was on Cary Williams for holding, wiping out a sack and fumble. The other was on Lardarius Webb, negating an Ed Reed interception.
Arizona tied the game on a 45-yard field goal by Jay Feely.
Baltimore stuffed the Cardinals down the stretch. The defense forced a punt after Paul Kruger's second sack of the game, and were given field position on their side of the field for the final drive.
After trying to go deep countless times, Flacco hit rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith for a 36-yard gain along the right sideline to set up Cundiff's game-winning 27-yard field goal as time expired.
Suggs said he was having fun early on in the game because, "sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying."
"I don't ever want to come back from 21 points down again," Suggs said. "I didn't feel comfortable, but I had faith, and I trusted. We have a lot of amazing guys on this team."