Ravens fans were on the edge of their seats* *all the way to the end of Monday night's 18-16 victory over the Detroit Lions.
But perhaps the biggest scare of the game came in the fourth quarter, when starting quarterback Joe Flacco took a shot just below the left knee from a diving defender as he released a pass. The hit bent Flacco's knee sideways, and he limped over to the sidelines after the series.
Flacco did not end up missing any game time, and after the win he indicated that the injury will not be a long-term concern.
"It wasn't really bothering me after the initial hit," he said. "It was more probably scary than anything, just from what I felt.
"It feels fine. It feels strong."
Flacco, who has never missed a game in his six-year NFL career, said he was unsure if he would need to undergo any further testing once the team returns to Baltimore.
"I have no idea," Flacco said. "I'll talk to the trainers and see what the protocol is. I'm not really used to anything like this."
While the hit initially stunned Flacco, the medical team quickly examined it and wrapped the leg to allow him to keep playing. After a nearly six-minute drive by the Lions, Flacco re-entered the game to lead the Ravens on a game-winning drive.
Flacco told reporters that he was at full strength on the game-winning drive, where he moved the Ravens 30 yards to set up Justin Tucker's 61-yard field goal.
"He fought through that," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Joe Flacco is a tough guy. Joe Flacco is one tough guy, and he's a great player in crunch time."
The hit came on a screen pass attempt to wide receiver Marlon Brown, and Flacco was hit by linebacker DeAndre Levy. The defender ran past left guard A.Q. Shipley, who was getting in position for the screen, and Levy dove into Flacco's leg going after the sack.
Flacco expressed frustration that Levy wasn't flagged on the play, which falls under the "Brady Rule" that prevents defenders from diving at quarterbacks' legs. Harbaugh indicated the play is one the team will send to the NFL for review.
"That was tough, he got a helmet right there below the knee," Harbaugh said. "That's something that I'm sure [the league] will take a look at."