Fate plays a part in every season as well as luck, but the Ravens seem to be getting divine intervention. And after the team's 31-29 win against the Cowboys in Baltimore Sunday, even the Ravens were starting to have some fun with it.
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M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St, Baltimore, MD 21230, USA
"Before the game I said should I go into prayer in a closet for this one?" asked Ravens left guard Bobbie Williams. "I thought, 'Why not? Well, why not?' I think it plays a huge part."
It appears to be working because the Ravens have won four straight games, all going down to the last minute. It would be unfair to say the Ravens haven't made big plays or had strong individual performances, but some of this stuff is unexplainable.
A week ago, the Kansas City Chiefs fumbled at the Ravens 1-yard line on a quarterback exchange in the third quarter, and that play changed the momentum of the game in the Ravens' favor.
On Sunday, Dallas receiver Dez Bryant dropped a very catchable two-point conversion pass that would have tied the score in the final seconds. On the previous play, Bryant ran the same pattern and made the same catch for a touchdown.
Here is some more:
In Kansas City last Sunday, the Chiefs' Dwayne Bowe, one of the best receivers in the NFL, had one pass bounce off his chest and another off his helmet, both resulting in interceptions, one that killed a Kansas City drive.
Somebody over at The Castle is living right.
"We got a whole lot of guys who believe," said Williams.
The football gods are watching over the Ravens. They lost an onside kick Sunday with 30 seconds left in the game, but Dallas wasn't able to get off another play after a 1-yard catch to the Ravens' 33-yard-line with 26 seconds left and one timeout.
Dallas coach Jason Garrett said couldn't get another play off because they couldn't get players to the line of scrimmage fast enough. That should not have happened.
Bailey's 51-yard field goal went wide left.
"Thank you, Jesus," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "He may have pushed that thing a little to the left."
The Ravens are the anointed team. They have to be. They gave up 227 rushing yards Sunday and at one time didn't have Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb and Terrell Suggs playing defense. Dallas had the ball for 40 minutes and the Ravens had it for just 20.
And they still won.
They are receiving favor from a higher being.
There were several times Sunday when the Cowboys got into scoring position, but drives were stalled because of illegal shifts. It was if a hand came down from the heavens to smite Dallas.
In contrast, when Rice was stopped for a 3-yard loss to set up a third-and-goal from the Dallas 5 with 4:49 seconds left in the game, the play was nullified because the Cowboys were called for offsides.
One play later, Rice scored to give the Ravens a 31-23 lead.
These kind of things keep happening week after week. Against New England, quarterback Joe Flacco threw two passes that should have been intercepted, including one that would have ended the game, but the Patriots defensive back fell down.
Before this season, Ravens cornerback Cary Williams didn't have an interception, but he has one in each of the past three games. On two of them, he didn't even make a play, but just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.
The Ravens can't lose right now.
Despite their offensive line being in flux, the defensive front seven getting pushed all over the field, they keep winning. They can't get consistent pressure on an opposing quarterback and they are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL, but it's no big deal.
The Ravens say they have all the right ingredients. They have good overall balance and outstanding leadership. They say they can get big plays from any unit on the field including special teams.
Coach John Harbaugh says his team is full of fighters with a never-say-die attitude.
Maybe they are right. Luck and fate are on their side and the mojo is working. But at this point, those things should be running out.
That's why I say this team is blessed.