On third-and-15, Dilfer (16-for-24 for 187 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) found wide receiver Brandon Stokley for a 22-yard touchdown. Game, set, match.
The win boosted the Ravens' conference record to 9-3, second to Miami's 8-2 in the AFC. They may be a wild-card entry, but in Billick's second year as coach, the Ravens aren't shy about their Super Bowl aspirations.
"Brian told us greed is good," said Herring. "The playoffs are great, but we want it all."
Billick laid down his playoff goal as soon as last year's 8-8 season was finished.
"At the end of the year, we stood up and said anything less than the playoffs would be unsuccessful, not only for this year but last year," he said. "So to stand up and be accountable that way, and to live up to what you said you were going to do, sometimes is undervalued, and my hat's off to those guys in the [locker] room."
Freedom of speech returned to that locker room yesterday, too, when Billick finally lifted his ban of the word "playoffs."
"One word, two syllables," said Sharpe, the free-agent tight end who joined the team in February. "Playoff. It feels real good.
"I said at the beginning of the year, one of the main reasons I came here was to play in January. We still have two games to go, Arizona and the [ New York] Jets. We're jockeying for position.
"The goal was to get in the playoffs. Now it's a crapshoot. We've got just as good a chance as anyone else to get to Tampa [site of Super Bowl XXXV]." Super Bowl-bound?
"We're definitely capable of getting there," McAlister said. "If we continue to dominate, we'll have a full head of steam going into the playoffs."
This will be Burnett's first trip to the postseason since he played with the 1994 Browns, who beat New England before losing at Pittsburgh. He doesn't want a short visit.
"We're not going to the playoffs just to play one game," he said. "We're in the playoffs, but right now we have to keep the hammer down and stay focused. We're having much more fun with this team than I did [in 1994]."
January football was the lure that got Burnett back this season. It was also the hook that helped bring in defensive tackle Tony Siragusa - invaluable in the team's top-ranked run defense - from an acrimonious training camp holdout last summer.
"I called him every day, saying `You don't want to miss this,' " Burnett said. "Our days in the league are numbered. We might as well go for the golden goose all we can."
In Baltimore, playoff football is back.
Ravens 24, Chargers 3