NFL Playoffs: Baltimore Ravens Defense Comes Up Big In The Thin Air
After last week’s win against the Indianapolis Colts, it seemed like the common belief was that Ray Lewis had just one more game left before his career was over. Lewis, and the rest of his Baltimore Ravens defense felt otherwise.
The Denver Broncos had won 11 straight games, and had owned the Ravens in Week 15 of the regular season, and they were huge favorites in the first game of this weekend’s NFL Playoffs.
In an unlikely 73 point shoot-out, the Ravens’ defense hung in there and intercepted Peyton Manning in overtime, setting up Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense in Denver territory. Fittingly, the game ends on a made field goal, possibly taking away some of the pain of last season’s loss to the New England Patriots in the 2011 AFC Championship Game.
Saturday’s game, played at Sports Authority Field in Denver, will go down as an instant classic. Joe Flacco played the best game of his post season career, averaging 20+ yards per completion, and tossing for 3 touchdowns, including a game tying bomb with just 31 seconds left.
As nice as Flacco played, the real winner on Saturday afternoon, was the Ravens defense. This group was under pressure to get it done against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and all of the weapons he has around him. Nothing has come easy this season for the Baltimore defensive unit, and this game was exactly what they needed heading into next weekend.
Whoever wins between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans are now on alert. The Ravens killer D is back, and they are on a mission to see Lewis end his career hoisting the trophy in New Orleans.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.