26
Oct
10

Ravens Escape Bills In “Trap Game”


Billy Cundiff Celebrates His Game-Winning Field Goal

By Jesse Jones

After coming off a very emotional loss in New England, being one game away from the bye week, Ed Reed returning for his first game of the season, and having the 2000 Super Bowl winning team being honored at halftime, there were many ways for the Baltimore Ravens to overlook the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

And it seemed the team did just that.

The Ravens took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a 41-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff, but the momentum quickly changed.  The Bills took a 10-3 lead heading into the second quarter behind a 33-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Lee Evans on the Bills following drive, and then forced a fumble on the kickoff which resulted in a Bill’s field goal.  In the beginning of the second, the Bills stretched their lead to 17-3 thanks to another 33-yard touchdown pass, only this time the pass was completed to Steve Johnson.

This is when the game turned into a shootout.

Baltimore responded on their next drive and cut the lead to a touchdown thanks to a Flacco-to-Heap 26-yard touchdown pass.  But, as they had done all first half, Buffalo scored yet another touchdown, this time a 20-yard pass from Fitzpatrick to Lee Evans again.  Baltimore scored a field goal and cut the lead to 24-13 on their next drive.  Then, CJ Spiller fumbled the kickoff and Josh Wilson recovered.  Flacco found Heap again for a 14-yard touchdown with 48 seconds left in the half, and went into halftime down only 24-20.

Baltimore kicked the ball off to the Bills to start the second half, and the first play of the drive was a Fitzpatrick interception to who else but Ed Reed.  The very next play was a 34-yard flea flicker touchdown pass from Flacco to Anquan Boldin, which put the Ravens up 27-24.  After stopping Buffalo on their next possession, the Ravens grew their lead to 34-24 thanks to a 2-yard touchdown by Willis McGahee against his former team.

Game over right?  Wrong.

Just as they did against New England, the Baltimore pass defense gave up a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter.  Fitzpatrick found Lee Evans for the duo’s third touchdown of the game, and the lead was cut to 34-31 Ravens.  Then, with four seconds left, Buffalo added a field goal to send the game into overtime.

After the Ravens did nothing with their chance to end the game, Buffalo began to move.  After a 19-yard pass that got the ball to their own 41 yard line, Fitzpatrick completed a 4-yard pass to Nelson, and this is where the controversy begins.  Nelson seemed to be stopped for a brief moment, but the Bills players ran to the pile and kept pushing him forward.  As he was being pushed forward, Ray Lewis stripped the ball from him and gave Baltimore control of the game. 

The ruling on the field was a fumble, and Baltimore ultimately kicked the game-winning field goal to win the game 37-34 and improved to 5-2 on the season.

The game was definitely not a good one for the pass defense.  The Bills, who had the worst offense in the league, scored 34 points and threw for four touchdowns, all of which came against Fabian Washington, and the defense as a whole allowed for over 500 yards of total offense, the first time that has happened since 2000 against the New York Jets.

However, the team forced 4 turnovers, 2 of which came from Ed Reed interceptions, the Ray Lewis strip, and CJ Spiller fumble.

The offense also was in sync, as Flacco threw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The Ravens got the win, but it was not impressive.  Yes, Ed Reed had a huge game, and classic in his case, grabbing two interceptions, and they came back from a 24-10 deficit to get the lead by 10, but gave up that lead for two straight games.  Add to that the fact that the Bills were 0-5 heading into the game.

Baltimore definitely had some luck in getting the win, but sometimes, in the National Football League, you need luck, you cannot always rely on talent alone.

Baltimore is now in it’s bye week, and will look to get healthier and clean up the defense.

Stay posted for an upcoming post on the state of the team.


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