Baltimore Ravens

Instant analysis of the Ravens' 29-26 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium

Baltimore Sun staff members give their thoughts on the Ravens' game against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: The immediate reaction is that was the craziest final 2:05 of a football game that I've ever seen. The big picture reaction is the Ravens just saved their season. Would-be playoff teams cannot lose to the Minnesota Vikings, especially with what lies ahead for the Ravens. But the Ravens are still alive, thanks to Joe Flacco's composure, Marlon Brown's footwork and Jacoby Jones' speed.

Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens' mo-jo is back.


Matt Vensel, reporter: After a boring first three quarters, which were filled with a bunch of Ravens mistakes, we were treated to thrills and chills -- weather joke! -- in the fourth quarter. The Ravens thrice had to come from behind in the game's final three minutes, but they were able to win after Dennis Pitta's fourth-down catch ... and Jacoby Jones' big return ... and Marlon Brown's game-winning touchdown. It counts as a win, though, and every one of these is huge down the stretch. We can nitpick this one later, once what we just witnessed finally sets in.

Aaron Wilson, reporter: Rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown won the game for the Ravens with a touchdown catch with four seconds remaining, narrowly getting both feet inbounds in the back of the end zone to end a dramatic game with an epic finish. Jacoby Jones nearly saved the game for the Ravens -- and perhaps their season -- with his dramatic kickoff return for a touchdown in the final minutes of the game, but that wasn't the case. The defense failed again, allowing Vikings rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to take a short pass for a touchdown as Matt Elam fell down when he had an angle to bring him down in the open field. After it appeared that quarterback Joe Flacco had won the game with a go-ahead touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta on fourth down, the defense was unable to hold on during the ensuing series. They allowed Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart to run for a touchdown as Elam and James Ihedigbo missed tackles. With three interceptions from Flacco, the Ravens still pulled out their third consecutive victory as they improved to 7-6 and remain in control of the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.


Peter Schmuck, columnist: How do you explain what just happened? The Ravens and Vikings slogged through the snow for 57 minutes and 55 seconds and then combined for five  touchdowns in the last two-plus minutes. The only thing missing was Al Michaels making the call on Joe Flacco's last-second hookup with Marlon Brown. The playoffs, needless to say, are still in play, but John Harbaugh probably lost a couple years off the end of his life.

Childs Walker, reporter: That might have been the most outlandish game in Ravens history. From the blinding snow early to the volley of five touchdowns in the last two-plus minutes, it was tremendous theater. Only a cynic would carp about the Ravens' inability to win any game comfortably. Given its unreliable run blocking and propensity for turnovers, this is no great team. But it has become an incredibly fun team to watch, one that just won't quit. If you're looking for a football-specific takeaway from all that madness, Dennis Pitta looked great in his return. He could be a major factor in the Ravens' playoff push.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: Wow. That's all I have after this game. More action in the last two minutes than the entire game. Unbelievable win for the Ravens. This saves the season.