BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens came out on top when the game clock hit zero. They beat the San Diego Chargers by a score of 29-26 and now have a 2-6 record on the year. Their victory was a different outcome from what the team had experienced throughout what was a one-win season.
Each of the Ravens games has been decided by eight points or less. Almost all of the games came down to a late drive. The Ravens were down 23-19 and Joe Flacco led them on a 38-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown that put the Ravens ahead.
Flacco played flawlessly in the fourth quarter for the Ravens. He completed eight of his nine pass attempts for 71 yards. Flacco also did a great job of adjusting to his new center after losing Jeremy Zuttah for the game.
He had to find a way to get the job done after the Ravens lost Steve Smith Sr. late in the game. Smith Sr. suffered a torn Achilles. The injury will cost Smith Sr. the rest of the season.
Flacco refused to use the missing players as a reason to quit. He had confidence in the guys that had to fill in. “Adversity is something you have to deal with every day in this league,” Flacco said. “That’s why you have guys on the bench that can come in and step up.”
The Ravens needed to score a touchdown on that second to the last drive of the game. They couldn’t settle for a field goal. A crafty play call by Marc Trestman set the Ravens up at the one-yard line and Flacco punched it in for a touchdown.
A touchback gave the Ravens the ball at their own 20-yard line after the Chargers tied the game up at 26 each. Flacco took them into range for Justin Tucker to kick the winning field goal as the final seconds ticked off of the clock.
When it was all said and done, Flacco threw for 319 yards to help Baltimore snap a three-game skid and dealt the Chargers their fourth straight defeat. He had one touchdown pass along with a one-yard touchdown run.
The veteran quarterback was charged with the task of elevating his team without his top receiver. The late game win was just what the Ravens needed going into the bye week. It gave the team something positive to hang their hat on before they take a short break from the season this week.
“It feels good. You know the game’s going to come down to that. We don’t make it easy.” Flacco explained. “We’re going to have to win games late like this, and [we’ve] just got to be proud of how we’ve stayed together throughout this whole process.”
The Ravens will have the bye next week before returning to M&T Bank Stadium to host the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 15th.