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4th and 29

Fourth and 29
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Fourth and 29.

The down and distance might not mean much to NFL fans outside of Baltimore, but here in Charm City, it’s a play that changed sports history forever.

The Ravens entered that November 25, 2012 game with a record of (8-2) and they were 1-point road favorites over the (4-6) San Diego Chargers.

[Press Play to listen or continue reading below]

With 3:09 left in the game the Ravens took over on their own 40-yard line following a 23-yard kick return by Jacoby Jones. Five plays later following a few sloppy plays, a holding penalty and a sack by former Raven Antwaan Barnes who forced a Flacco fumble which was recovered by Michael Oher, the Ravens faced a 4th-and-29 from their own 37.

It was Hail Mary time!

Inexplicably, Joe Flacco checked down…imagine that, and threw to Ray Rice behind the line of scrimmage. No Hail Mary. Instead, Rice delivered an Act of Contrition for Flacco.

Had the Ravens lost and the rest of the season played out the same exact way as it did in 2012, they would have finished at (9-7) which would have earned them the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff tourney. That would have placed them in Houston to face the Texans, the No. 3 seed. Earlier that season the Ravens lost to the Texans in Houston 43-13.

History may have changed if not for the efforts of Ray Rice, an annihilating block by Anquan Boldin or even the fumble recovery by Michael Oher. But those things fell the Ravens way, enabling them to complete an amazing four-game playoff sweep. If none of those things happen, it’s unlikely that the Ravens win Super Bowl 47. And if that doesn’t happen, Joe Flacco probably isn’t a Raven today OR at best he’s playing for a lot less.

Just goes to show you how much one play can change history.

Hey, did I tell you the one about the Mile High Miracle?

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