Nov 10 2013, 10:21pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
The Ravens had a one-touchdown lead at 17-10 with just two seconds left in regulation before Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's 51-yard Hail Mary pass was deflected by several players scrambling for possession before the ball was tipped off Ravens safety James Ihedigbo's hands.
The Ravens seized control in overtime by marching the ball downfield, allowing Justin Tucker to nail a 46-yard field goal with 5:27 left to secure Baltimore's fourth win in nine games.
Nobody was more relieved that Ihedigbo, who shouted,"Thank you, Lord" as he went to the dugout.
His teammate, quarterback Joe Flacco, who went 20 for 36 for 140 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, was just as glad to have escaped with a nail-biting win.
"I don't know if this was exciting. It would have been more exciting if you were on Cincinnati's side. I don't know if it was more exciting as it was one of those ones where you go afterward,'Phew, I'm glad we won this one.'"
For his part, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh called it a "team victory."
"Team victory in so many ways. I think what it was all about in the end, and the thing I'm proud of as a coach, is the heart of our guys. I feel like they showed the heart of champions today. Where this leads us we will find out."
Baltimore struck first with 9:42 remaining in the first quarter when tight end Dallas Clark caught Flacco's one-yard pass to put the Ravens up 7-0. Tucker added a field goal five minutes later while wide receiver Torrey Smith caught a seven-yard pass from Flacco with 6:30 to go in the second quarter to increase the margin to 17 at halftime.
On the other hand, the Bengals finally broke their silence when Mike Nugent made a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter. It wasn't until 8:22 left in regulation when they scored their first touchdown of the game -- a Giovani Bernard 18-yard score off a screen pass from Dalton to trim the deficit to 17-10.
This set the stage for the wild and wooly finish in the fourth quarter.
Cincinnati's chances of tying the game looked bleak when Elvis Dumervil sacked Dalton for a seven-yard loss on 2nd and 8 at the Ravens' 44-yard line. Dalton spiked the ball on third down to stop the clock before heaving the ball downfield to Green for the improbable touchdown.
Dalton wound up with 274 yards, two touchdowns and three picks. Green, with his 151 receiving yards on eight receptions, had his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game, a team record.
The Ravens will next face the Chicago Bears on the road on Nov. 17 while the Bengals, who slipped to 6-4, will take on their in-state and AFC North division rivals, the Cleveland Browns, at home on the same day.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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