Continuing with our short series on Ravens unsung moments, it was November 25, 2012 and the Ravens who were (8-2) and winners of three straight, traveled to San Diego to take on the (4-6) Chargers as 1-point road favorites. John Harbaugh & Company had positioned themselves atop the AFC North and the first goal of any season – to win the division, was within reach.
The Ravens offense struggled in the first half. They failed to produce a single point and could only muster up 90 yards of offense. They trailed at the break by the score of 10-0. In the third quarter the Joe Flacco-led offense rallied a bit with 121 yards of offense but could still only manage 3 points.
On the first possession of the fourth quarter following a fourth-and-1 stop of Bernard Pierce at their own 14, the Chargers marched 72 yards for another field goal, extending their lead to 13-3 with 7:51 to go in the game. The outlook was bleak. But the Ravens rallied and marched 80 yards on their next possession for a touchdown to make it a three-point game at 13-10.
The Chargers then took over at their own 20 but failed to gain a first down. After a three and out the Ravens took possession at their own 40 with 3:03 to play with all three timeouts in their collective pocket. Things began in a promising way. Two plays into the drive Flacco his Dennis Pitta for a 16 yard gain and the Ravens had a first down at the Chargers 44 with 2:38 to play and two timeouts and the 2-minute warning to boot. But suddenly, things began to unwind.
On the heels of three consecutive very unsuccessful plays, the Ravens faced a 4th and 29 from their own 37 with 1:59 to play. Everyone in San Diego and everyone watching, expected a Hail Mary heave from Flacco. Instead, Flacco dumped it off to Ray Rice at the line of scrimmage. Ravens Nation lost it! Fortunately, Ray Rice didn’t.
He weaved through a sea of powder blue monsters like a Pacman wizard and to everyone’s amazement, converted the improbably first down – but not without a crushing block from Anquan Boldin on the Chargers’ Eric Weddle. Without that block, Rice goes down. Without that block the Ravens season may have gone down. They did after all, lose their next 3 games to drop to (9-5). Without this win, it’s likely that they could have dropped to (8-6) and then, they would have been forced to beat the Giants and Bengals to get to the (10-6) mark needed for the playoffs.
But thanks in large part, to that unsung play from Boldin, the Ravens won the game, won the AFC North and won Super Bowl 47.