Heart-attack inducing doesn’t even begin to describe the final two minutes of Sunday’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the visiting Minnesota Vikings, a game which the Ravens eventually won 29-26.
It all started with a Joe Flacco 1-yard TD pass to tight end Dennis Pitta with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter. The Ravens then converted a 2pt attempt to go up 15-12 (#1 in the win probability chart below). That’s when all hell broke loose at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Vikings answered with a two play 68-yard drive that was capped by a 41-yard Toby Gerhart run that lasted all of 38 seconds (#2)—Gerhart was tasked replacing Adrian Peterson in the backfield after the league’s leading rusher went down with an ankle injury. After the extra point, Minnesota was back on top 19-15.
That was short lived, though. Jacoby Jones took the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to the house (#3) to put the Ravens in front yet again, 22-19, with 1:16 left on the clock.
Fans had little time to celebrate, though. On the third play of the Vikings’ next drive, Matt Cassel threw a short screen to rookie wide receiver/return man/future pro bowler/unstoppable force Cordarrelle Patterson who corralled the pass, made a few men miss, and then sprinted the rest of the way for a 79-yard touchdown (#4). The Vikes found themselves in the lead again, 26-22. Problem was, they left 45 seconds on the clock, nearly as much time as the last four drives combined.
Having to go 80 yards with only two timeouts, Joe Flacco turned to rookie receiver Marlon Brown. The two connected on the first play from scrimmage for 35 yards. An 18-yard pass interference call (that was extremely questionable and smelled like some home cooking) negated an interception, and another 18-yard pass to Dennis Pitta set Baltimore up at the nine yard line with ten seconds left. That’s when Flacco found Brown in the back of the endzone for a gorgeous toe-tapping reception (#5).
The drive took all of 41 seconds and left just enough time for a squib kick that was returned to midfield. Ravens win 29-26.
There have been some back and forth games this year, but I can’t think of one that saw so many swings in momentum, so close together, and right at the end of the game. The final six drives of the game all resulted in touchdowns, five of which happened in a span of about two minutes. Unbelievable.
Adrian Peterson found the events of the game unbelievable as well—specifically the actions of the refs and fans, and took to the Twitter afterwards to tweet his displeasure.
I’m guessing there’s a little frustration in there with the ankle injury—and I’m not going to disagree with him about Baltimore having the worst fanbase in the history of fanbases—but you can’t be mad about how that game ended.