With ‘boos’ raining down and doubts traveling through the crowds at M&T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens headed to the locker room down 24-6 at halftime to the one-win Arizona Cardinals.
However, a different Ravens team returned. It was a tale of two halves, as the Ravens came out of the halftime locker room re-energized and focused, despite an 18 point deficit.
The Ravens went from “under fire” to lighting one with three second-half touchdown drives finished off by short-scoring runs, courtesy of Ray Rice.
Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron went against conventional wisdom and let Joe Flacco thrive in the shotgun spread offense he played in at the University of Delaware. Flacco and wide receiver Anquan Boldin hooked up seven times for 145 yards, the most yards in his two seasons as a Raven.
With 42 seconds remaining in the game, and the scored tied at 27-27, Flacco connected with rookie receiver Torrey Smith for 36 yards down to the Arizona five-yard line. Then, three plays later, Billy Cundiff nailed the game-winning, 25-yard field goal giving Baltimore the 30-27 victory.
After being criticized for the Ravens poor offensive showing Monday night, Flacco answered the bell making big play after big play. In fact, no one made more big plays than Flacco, who ended the day with 336 passing yards, completing 31-out-of-51 passes.
With the Ravens trailing, 24-13 midway through the third quarter, Flacco hit Boldin on a back shoulder throw, who continued to win the one-on-one battles all day. In hurry up mode, Flacco drove the Ravens 88 yards down the field through 10 plays, hitting Boldin four of those times for 80 yards. Rice would cap the drive with a touchdown from one yard out, bringing the Ravens within four at 24-20.
The Ravens defense really fed off the score. On Arizona’s ensuing drive, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs pressured Kevin Kolb and tipped his throw, resulting in a Jameel McClain interception.
Three plays later, Rice scored his career-high third rushing touchdown, this time from three yards out.
Sunday’s 21 point comeback was the biggest since 2006, when Baltimore came from 19 behind in Tennessee to defeat the Titans, 27-26