The Miami Dolphins gave the Ravens a Halloween treat on Thursday night, scoring a strange 22-20 overtime victory that ended when Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked in the end zone by Cam Wake for a walk-off safety.
It was only the third time in NFL history an overtime game had ended on a safety. The fact that it happened right before midnight, on the scariest day of the year, made it that much more delicious.
More importantly for the Ravens, it was the first time the Bengals have been defeated since they lost to the Browns on Sept. 29. They fell to 6-3, which gives the Ravens (3-4) a chance to move to within 1 1/2 games of them in the AFC North standings with a victory at Cleveland on Sunday.
Nobody can assume a win over the Browns, who put up quite a fight against the undefeated Chiefs last Sunday, but if the Ravens can get by that game, they will be in position to reshape the AFC North race when they host the Bengals next week.
The Dolphins took advantage of four turnovers from Dalton, but they let a 14-point lead get away in the second half and had to stage a last-minute drive in regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime. They had two possessions in the overtime period and punted both times, but pinned the Bengals back inside their 10 with the possibility of a tie looming.
Maybe this was the opening the Ravens needed to begin their second season. It won’t take long to find out.