Tucker's Awesome 'OOOH Kill Em' Terio Dance
The range of emotions felt in the span of about 10 game-clock minutes was overwhelming for everyone involved.
"At my funeral, you can thank the Ravens for taking at least five years off my life. #TilDeathDoUsPart," tweeted Baltimore Beatdown's Kris Jones.
M&T Bank Stadium was thumping as the fans harmoniously belted out the Seven Nation Army chant after Elvis Dumervil sacked Andy Dalton with the final seconds ticking away.
But after the last play of regulation, with no time left on the clock, you could hear a pin drop. The stadium fell silent when Dalton threw up a Hail Mary and receiver A.J. Green wound up with the touchdown.
Let's take a look at the roller coaster of emotions that you may not have seen via GIFs, photos and video (mobile users tap "View in Browser").
Hail Mary Craziness (GIF)
(Bleacher Report GIF)
What were the Ravens thinking as they watched safety James Ihedigbo volley an assist to Green as time expired? Was their season over?
"I don't know if you're thinking that it's going to be it for us for the season," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "You're probably not thinking all good thoughts. There are some bad thoughts in there. … Real quickly, you kind of say to yourself, 'You've got to be kidding me. It is not going right. It is just not going right.' Me and Torrey [Smith] just sat back down on the bench and just looked at each other and said, 'Wow.'"
And what was Ihedigbo thinking when he tipped the ball up, rather than down to the ground?
"Bonehead move," he said. "I just should have stayed back. It probably would have fell right in my lap. I saw it drifting and tried to slap it to the ground. It went up in the air. Easy touchdown."
J. Smith Rips Into Ihedigbo (Video)
Tensions ran high on the Ravens sideline after the completed Hail Mary as cameras caught cornerback Jimmy Smith ripping into Ihedigbo.
The two were all good after the game. While Smith was talking with reporters in the post-game locker room, Ihedigbo interrupted and jokingly asked: "Did you tell them how you cussed me out?"
Jimmy said: "That's just a little bit of frustration, but he came up big. He got two picks this game, made some great tackles, some great calls. I wasn't necessarily mad at him, just frustrated with the season, how it's going. I really wanted to get that win."
Tucker Celebrates With Terio Dance
Luckily the Ravens didn't buckle in overtime, thanks in part to Ihedigbo.
He was instrumental in stopping running back Giovani Bernard on the fourth-and-2 in overtime, which led to Justin Tucker's fifth game-winning field goal of his young career. The Ravens went from a gut-wrenching low, to utter relief and all smiles as Tucker showed off his version of the awesome internet sensation "Ohhhh kill em" Cousin Terio dance.
Thank you, Justin.
Ihedigbo Hugs Tucker (Thank You, Lord)
Ihedigbo was one of the first Ravens to run to Tucker and thank him for helping atone for the colossal Hail Mary blunder.
As Ihedigbo walked off the field, he thanked a higher power.
"Wow. Wow. I thank the Lord and I thank Tucker for making that kick," Ihedigbo told CSNBaltimore.com.
Ihedigbo An Upgrade Over Pollard
As much as everyone will be talking about Ihedigbo's "bonehead" play, his contributions to the game should not be overlooked. In fact, if it weren't for Ihedigbo's outstanding performance including two interceptions, the Ravens may not have even been in position to win.
This offseason, Ravens brass opted to part ways with safety Bernard Pollard, much to the shock of Ravens fans. But halfway through the season, The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel believes that Ihedigbo is showing that was the right decision.
"Ihedigbo has proved to be a significant upgrade over Bernard Pollard," Vensel wrote. "He had not made many highlight-reel plays before Sunday, but he has been one of the team's most consistently good defenders all season. While he might not hit as hard as Pollard, he can still lay the lumber and he is much sounder as a tackler and in coverage.
"Plus, he has fared pretty well while taking over for Ed Reed as the brains of the secondary. Ihedigbo's future beyond this season is in doubt as he will be a free agent and rookie free safety Matt Elam is probably better suited to play strong safety. Plus, with the way Ihedigbo has been playing, he might earn a decent contract this spring."
Time To Give Pierce Chance To Win Job From Rice?
The run game woes are beginning to sound like a broken record.
The Ravens only garnered 85 yards on the ground against the Bengals, 18 of which came on a trick play with backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Running back Ray Rice only produced 30 yards on 18 carries, just 1.7 yards per carry. With similar production coming from the Pro Bowl back week in and week out, Vensel wonders if it's time to feed the rock more to backup Bernard Pierce.
"I think it might be time for the Ravens to give Bernard Pierce a bigger workload," Vensel wrote. "Ray Rice has had a great career here in Baltimore, but for whatever reason, he doesn't look like himself this season. He is not exploding into the few holes that are there and he looks like a little kid running in a snowsuit when he gets the ball in the open field.
"Pierce has been banged-up, too, but he looked pretty good Sunday. His numbers – 31 yards on eight carries – aren't eye-popping, but he displayed the necessary burst that we haven't seen from either back in recent weeks. He also had 12 yards on two catches that were basically extended handoffs. With Rice struggling again, it is time to give Pierce an opportunity to take the job and run with it. Go with the hot hand – well, make that hotter hand – and right now that appears to be Pierce."
Ravens Still Haven't Proved They're Contenders
The Ravens' overtime win was gigantic in terms of saving their season, as they're now within a 1.5-game striking distance of the Bengals.
That said, the Ravens played poorly enough – particularly on offense in the second half – for outsiders to still doubt that they are true contenders.
"This win does nothing but keep the Ravens' playoff hopes alive. It doesn't send a message to the rest of the NFL that the Ravens are about to go on a playoff run," wrote The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
"It doesn't make you feel any better about their poor running game or their struggling offense as a whole. It doesn't give you confidence that they are going to go into Chicago and beat a Bears team that has some problems of its own."
Doubt Creeping Up in Cincy
The Bengals were once 6-2 after thumping the New York Jets by 40 points, but now they're on a two-game losing streak and at least one media member in Cincinnati says this second loss inspires a "familiar doubt."
"Old wounds reopen, familiar doubts come knocking," wrote Paul Daugherty of The Cincinnati Enquirer. "For eight games, the Bengals didn't make it easy on themselves, but they were winning. Now, they're making it difficult while losing."
Daugherty particularly pointed to the erratic play of Dalton, who just a few weeks ago looked like one of the top quarterbacks in the league after throwing five touchdown passes against the Jets.
"Other than the three-week run of near-perfection, the QB has been Good Andy and Bad Andy, often in the same game," Daugherty wrote.
Report: Roethlisberger May Seek Trade
It's hard to imagine Ben Roethlisberger playing in any uniform other than black and gold, but the Steelers quarterback is reportedly "incredibly frustrated" in Pittsburgh, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
Could he be traded?
"Team sources expect Roethlisberger to ask the Steelers to explore a possible trade in the offseason, Rapoport was told," wrote NFL.com's Marc Sessler. Pittsburgh fielded trade offers for Big Ben last offseason and the team expects to answer the phone again in 2014.
"Still, the Steelers have no intentions of trading Big Ben, per Rapoport, unless they can replace him with another franchise passer."
After the NFL Network report was released, the Steelers put out a statement saying that they have no intentions of shopping Roethlisberger.
"Contrary to erroneous reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so," Steelers President Art Rooney II said in the statement.
Roethlisberger also denied the rumor when he spoke to the media after Sunday's 23-10 win over the Bills.
Doyel: Flacco Taking Money Out Of Dalton's Pocket
As quarterback Joe Flacco continues to struggle to spark his offense after signing a $120 million contract this offseason, CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel believes the Bengals should be taking notes.
"As if Andy Dalton didn't cost himself enough money on Sunday, Joe Flacco should have taken even more cash out of Dalton's future pockets by demonstrating -- in the same game, on the same field -- just how risky it is for a team to put all of its eggs into one quarterback's basket," Doyel wrote.
"You can't run an NFL franchise on wishes and hopeful thinking, is what the Ravens are learning right about now -- and what the Bengals, if they're as smart as they seem to have become in recent years, had better be learning as well."
Koch Has Baby Sunday Morning
When Joe Flacco has his baby on gameday, Twitter and the rest of the Internet blows up.
But when a punter has his baby on gamedy, it's an afterthought.
Ravens punter Sam Koch's wife gave birth to their baby Sunday morning, but few made mention of it.
"I can't figure out why you get so much more pub than the punter? The guy held for the game-winning kick today!" CSN's Brent Harris said to Flacco.
"I know. It's crazy," Flacco said. "Unbelievable. We're going to set a record for babies on gameday."
- @BaltimoreLuke: A.Q. Shipley had a neck stinger and was checked for a concussion before being cleared to return to the game. #Ravens [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: Harbaugh said he believes Ravens got out of game without any serious injuries. Ngata is obviously pretty banged up with left knee. [Twitter]
- @mzenitz: Ngata said in the locker room of his knee injury: "I'm good" [Twitter]
- @RavensInsider: Jimmy smith said he didn't aggravate his strained groin [Twitter]
- @RavensInsider: Justin Tucker on Morgan Cox retrieving game-winner ball: 'Fastest I've ever seen Morgan run, but I'm very appreciative. He made a beeline' [Twitter]
- "[P]enalties were the hot topic of conversation in the locker room. Cincinnati was flagged nine times for 134 yards. It held a 7-2 advantage in penalties at halftime," wrote Coley Harvey. "Coach Marvin Lewis said the calls seemed one-sided at times." [ESPN]
- "Middle linebacker Daryl Smith played through hamstring and lower back injuries and had nine tackles," wrote Aaron Wilson. "He limped off the field in overtime and was replaced by Josh Bynes, but said it wasn't serious." [The Baltimore Sun]
- Why not run down the play clock in the fourth quarter? … "I'm a big proponent of the Ravens picking up the pace, but there is a time and a place for it," Vensel wrote. "The fourth quarter of a game in which you are leading by a touchdown is usually not one of them. Yet there the Ravens were, hurrying up to the line and snapping the ball with double digits on the play clock. It's not like they had the Bengals on their heels. The Ravens had just 57 net yards in the second half. If they had managed the clock better in the fourth quarter, there probably would not have been a game-tying drive and certainly no last-second Hail Mary. I'm not sure if that is on Harbaugh or Flacco, but if it was not Harbaugh, he needed to step in and tell Flacco to slow down." [The Baltimore Sun]
- @jamisonhensley: Webb is mentally tough player. He was clearly down on himself after last week's game. But he has bounced back today (minus missed tackle). [Twitter]
- @PMGleason: The #Ravens have now produced at least 2 sacks in 17-straight games, the NFL's longest such streak. [Twitter]