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Ravens Stun Broncos in Double OT

The AFC Divisional Round game in Denver on Saturday was a classic for the ages, with the Baltimore Ravens taking a 38-35 double OT victory on a series of incredible plays.

The play of the game came with 30 seconds left in regulation. The Baltimore Ravens, out of timeouts, needed a score to tie the game. Quarterback Joe Flacco heaved a ball 70 yards down the sideline, over the heads of two badly out of place Broncos defenders, and into the hands of Jacoby Jones, who walked into the end zone for the score. It was an astonishing touchdown, and one that will doubtlessly make NFL highlight reels for decades to come.

“I started to step up in the pocket and I kept my eye on the safety’s depth at that point,” Flacco said. “Just felt I had a shot of maybe getting over him. At that point in the game, you don’t have any timeouts. When you’ve got to go a pretty decent length, you’ve got to start taking shots at some point. It happened to work out.”

Of course, there was plenty of other drama in the game, too. Denver Broncos special teamer Trindon Holliday returned both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns, and Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith caught two long bombs. However, the game will ultimately be remembered for that long, improbable Jacoby Jones touchdown, and the massive choke job by Denver down the stretch – the Broncos were 9.5 point favorites in the game, and lost outright. It was an inexplicable loss, especially in a game where they had two return touchdowns. The final nail in the Broncos’ coffin came when Peyton Manning threw an interception across his body in overtime, and Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker sealed the game with a 47-yard field goal.

Of course, after watching that game, it’s hard not to think that the Ravens might  have an unstoppable surge of momentum on their side. Given that this is Ray Lewis’ last year in the NFL, his 17th, everything is starting to feel right about this Baltimore team’s run through the playoffs. With two impressive road victories, they only need one more to reach the biggest game of all. “We’re dealing with something where everything is ‘a last’ for us. It’s the last game or last drive for Ray Lewis,” Ravens running back Ray Rice said. “Peyton is coming back next year. [Colts coach Chuck] Pagano is coming back to coach next year. We love them guys, but it’s the last for our guy.”

If it had been Ray Lewis’ last game as an NFL player, it would have been a sensational one;  he finished the day with 17 total tackles, seven more than the second-most tackles on the team.

“If I miss anything about my career, it will be to listen to what people say you can’t do and then go do it,” Lewis said. “There was only one way to cap last week, and that was to win this week. And that’s what we, as a team, spoke about. We said: ‘What if we do the impossible?'”

The Ravens lost a heartbreaker last year against the New England Patriots, but they get a chance at redemption next weekend. After the massive win against the Broncos, betting against the Ravens and Joe Flacco feels like a fool’s errand.

“We feel like it’s going to take a lot for someone to kick us off that field come the AFC Championship Game,” Flacco said. “We know what it felt like last year when we walked off that field without that win. We know what we’ve put in to get back to this point.”

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