Today we look at the Ravens’ miraculous comeback vs. the Seattle Seahawks during the 2003 season. They trailed 41-24 with seven minutes remaining in the game and went on to win 44-41 in OT.
Believe it or not, the game was still scoreless after the first quarter, and the Ravens had just three points at halftime. Third-string QB Anthony Wright led the Ravens to 21 points in the 3rd quarter and another 17 points in the 4th quarter, for a total of 38 2nd half points. The Ravens hadn’t scored 38 points in an entire game all season prior to this game, and they did it in one half against a 7-3 team.
The Ravens had just 52 yards of total offense in the 1st half compared to 374 in the 2nd. Wright finished game 20-37 for 319 yards, four touchdowns, and 0 INT. Matt Hasselbeck was equally as impressive for Seattle, finishing with 333 passing yards and five TD.
So anyway, trailing 17-3 at halftime, Wright led the Ravens down the field for a touchdown just a couple minutes into the 3rd quarter. The drive was capped off with a 13-yard touchdown to Marcus Robinson, making the score 17-10.
Seattle followed with a three-play, 71-yard drive for a touchdown of their own to re-take a 14 point lead. Koren Robinson caught a 38-yard pass for the score. The Seahawks would later take a 17-point lead after tacking on an additional field goal at the 7:59 mark in the 3rd.
Wright would connect again with Marcus Robinson on a 50-yard touchdown pass that brought the Ravens back to within 10. An 80-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson put Seattle back up 17 on the very first play of the ensuing drive (Yes, this was a crazy game).
Marcus Robinson then caught his 3rd touchdown of the 3rd quarter, a 25-yard strike from Wright. This brought the score to 34-24 with just a few minutes remaining in the 3rd. Seattle quickly scored again, a five-yarder to Bobby Engram just a minute into the 4th, giving Seattle a 14-point lead at 41-24.
To recap, six touchdowns were scored in a period of less than 16 minutes.
Into the 4th, Seattle was set to punt with 6:56 remaining in the game, the score still 41-24 Seattle. Then Ed Reed started doing Ed Reed things. He proceeded to block, recover, and return the punt 16 yards for a touchdown, bringing the Ravens back to within 10. Seattle got the ball back and managed to milk the clock down to four minutes left in regulation before fullback Mack Strong fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Ray Lewis (who else?) at the Ravens’ 29 yard line.
After picking up a couple of 1st downs, Wright was sacked on two consecutive plays, setting the Ravens up with 4th and 28 on their own 35. Forget Ray Rice; this was Hey Diddle Diddle, Frank Sanders Up the Middle. Wright hit the receiver over the middle on a 44 yard reception to keep the game alive. Wright eventually hit Robinson for his 4th touchdown reception of the afternoon.
With only 1:12 remaining and the team still trailing 41-38, Matt Stover attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Seattle. After gaining nine yards on the first two plays, Seattle faced a 3rd and one, only needing that one yard to seal the victory. The Ravens’ D held on 3rd and called their final timeout with 44 seconds remaining.
Seattle faced a tough decision: Attempt a 49-yard field goal for the win or go for it on 4th and inches. Hasselbeck proceeded to go with the QB sneak but was naturally denied. You don’t run on 4th and short on the Ravens. Ever.
So…here we are. 39 seconds left, no timeouts, and the ball at their own 33 yard line. Wright would complete zero passes on the drive, but the team benefitted from a 44-yard pass interference penalty against Seattle on the very first play. Stover tied the game on the last play of regulation with a 40-yard field goal. He eventually went on to kick the game-winner in OT, giving the Ravens the 44-41 victory.
Robinson finished the game with seven catches, 131 yards receiving, and four touchdowns.
The greatest comeback in Ravens history was complete. The Ravens moved to 6-5 with the win and went on to finish with a 10-6 record, earning their 1st division title in team history.