Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was chased down by Vikings defensive end Jared Allen on Sunday.
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Mark Craig's Five Extra Points
- Article by: MARK CRAIG
- December 8, 2013 - 10:02 PM
1. Vintage Flacco: Ugly, ugly, beautiful
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco might have the ugliest game of any elite quarterback in the league. He looked awful right to the point where he posted his 18th career game-winning drive and his 61st regular-season victory, surpassing Ben Roethlisberger for most wins among Super Bowl era quarterbacks in their first six seasons. In Baltimore’s first 13 offensive possessions, Flacco completed 21 of 40 for 154 yards, a TD and three interceptions. In the Ravens’ final two offensive possessions, Flacco completed 7 of 10 to four different receivers for 91 yards, four first downs and two TDs, including a great touch pass over the top of middle linebacker Audie Cole to Marlon Brown in the back of the end zone with 4 seconds left. Asked if this game – which saw five touchdowns and five lead changes in the final 2:05 – compared to last season’s last-minute playoff win at Denver, Flacco said, “This is probably crazier. I don’t know if there has ever been a crazier minute-and-forty-some seconds ever.”
2. Game-winner caught by hidden gem
The Ravens moved closer to extending their league-leading streak of consecutive playoff appearances to six. Give General Manager Ozzie Newsome the biggest share of the credit. No one replenishes a roster better, and it’s not just through the draft and veteran free agency. The Ravens’ roster includes nine current or former rookie free agents. One of them, rookie Brown, was able to get his feet just inbounds for the 9-yard game-winning touchdown with 4 seconds left. “We lined up and it was Cover-2, and I just kind of slipped my guy, and it was a great ball by Joe,” Brown said. “It’s pretty simple.” Brown’s game-high seven catches went for a team-high 92 yards. His six TDs tie Jamal Lewis’ team rookie record.
3. Pleading guilty
One of the few players in the Vikings locker room not complaining about the officials was Joe Berger, who had a critical call go against him after replacing injured right guard Brandon Fusco in the first quarter. Berger was flagged 15 yards for a personal foul on a peel-back block that negated an 18-yard run by Cordarrelle Patterson to the Baltimore 2. The Vikings had to settle for a field goal. “That’s a rule the NFL put in that we know that if you’re going back toward your end zone, if you block low, it’s a penalty,” Berger said. “Three years ago, it’s a legal play. Now, it’s not. I had no complaints. You used to be able to do it. As I was doing it, I knew it was the wrong thing. But it was too late.”
4. Patterson play matched moment
Cordarrelle Patterson said the screen pass to the right flat was the perfect call at the right time. The Vikings rookie might be right, considering it resulted in a 79-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left. “Just a simple screen,” he said. “Just try to get the ball out quick. We saw how quick they were rushing. So they motioned me to one side and did a good job getting the ball to me.” Patterson got a kick-out block from Jerome Simpson and good blocking from the offensive line. “No way I shouldn’t have scored on that play,” Patterson said. “I made a cut. I saw [safety] Matt Elam. He slipped and it was touchdown.” Said Elam: “I tried to turn my feet around, but I slipped on the ice.”
5. Another wasted three-pick game
For the second time this season, the Vikings intercepted three passes and still lost in the final seconds. Interceptions by linebacker Chad Greenway, safety Andrew Sendejo and cornerback Marcus Sherels resulted in just six points. The Vikings went three-and-out following the interceptions by Greenway and Sherels. They put together a 33-yard touchdown drive after Sendejo made the first interception of his career. Greenway’s third pick of the season tied a career high set in 2009. And he did it while continuing to play with a broken wrist. “I didn’t know exactly how I was going to catch that thing, but I got it done somehow,” Greenway said. “Just frustrating that it wasn’t enough.”
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