It has been quite a season for the Baltimore Ravens. They have endured an inconsistent quarterback and offense and have battled through countless injuries to their defense, yet they still managed to win the AFC North on Sunday.
After losing three games in a row, they pulled off a 33-14 win over the reigning Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.
The win gave them a home playoff game in the wild-card round of the playoffs to be played in two weeks. They will face the Indianapolis Colts or the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC wild-card game.
The Ravens surprised everyone with a much improved offense and defense. They came out firing and scored touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Quarterback Joe Flacco had one of his best games of the season. He went 25 of 36 for 309 passing yards and two touchdowns. He ran for one score with a quarterback rating of 114.2. Flacco did not throw any interceptions or have any fumbles.
Head coach John Harbaugh had high praise for his quarterback:
“I think it says that he’s a very good quarterback, number one,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “It also says that he has a lot of determination, a lot of pride, and he was able to handle that. That’s probably the biggest thing. You have to have think skin, skin like an armadillo.”
Flacco spread the love by throwing to seven receivers. Wide receiver Torrey Smith had five receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown and Anquan Boldin had seven receptions for 93 yards.
Running back Ray Rice had 24 carries for 107 yards.
Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell can be credited with the up-tempo passing game leading to the Ravens offensive high of the season with 553 total yards, 289 yards in the first half.
Even the banged up Ravens defense stepped it up and sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning three times; hit him nine times overall and held the Giants to 186 yards of total offense.
Ravens safety Ed Reed is waiting on the National Football League’s reaction to his hit on Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz. They claim Reed lead with his head. He could face suspension, but is likely to be fine. He received a personal foul penalty for the hit.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Ravens performance on Sunday. I wasn’t sure which team would show up, I’m happy the “good” one hit the field and gave us a long overdue win.
Where has this team been all season? As much as I support Flacco, I still don’t understand how he is so inconsistent. Sunday he proved his critics wrong by exploding on offense.
Jim Caldwell did a great job with the offensive play calling; he got the message about using Rice and the offensive line stepped up to protect Flacco.
I am proud of my Ravens; their win gave me a renewed faith for the playoffs. I hope they find a way to keep this up and make a deep run.
Congrats on the win; I’ll see you in January.