Honestly, you can’t even file that one under “a win is a win”.
It counts as a win, alright, but it sure doesn’t feel like the Ravens won on Monday night. For the record, they did – as Josh Wilson intercepted a pass and scampered 10 yards into the end zone in overtime to give Baltimore a 34-28 victory at Houston to improve to 9-4.
But that wasn’t the story.
That was the winning play.
The story of the game was the Ravens complete defensive collapse in the 4th quarter and the team’s offense going into sleepwalk mode again in the second half.
The Ravens led 28-7 after David Reed ran back the second half opening kick-off for a touchdown. And they led 28-13 midway through the 4th quarter. Comfortable? Well, you would be in normal circumstances. But this year – and this defense – don’t really count as “normal circumstances”.
Not only did Matt Schaub drive the Texans 99 and 95 yards on two consecutive series’, he then connected on the 2-point conversion to send the game to overtime.
The play that changed the game for the Ravens once the contest went to sudden death?
That’s easy. It was the coin flip. Cory Redding called “tails” and it came up tails. Had that coin landed on heads and the Houston offense would have had first crack in sudden death, that game would have ended in about 5 plays. The Ravens defense was completely gassed. And the Texans offense was on fire.
But it came up tails, which gave the defense some time to breathe. And even though the Ravens offense stalled to start sudden death, a great Sam Koch punt pinned Houston on their own 8 to start their first overtime series. Two plays later, hustled out of the pocket by Terrell Suggs, Matt Schaub threw a ball that Josh Wilson expertly sniffed out and he gathered it in and raced untouched into the end zone to rescue the Ravens from what might have been a season-crushing defeat.
There will be a week’s worth of questions surrounding this one, even though the end result was a Ravens win. Questionable decisions and time management by the coaching staff will be dissected like mad. The team’s inability to run the ball in pressure situations will be examined. And the failure to “close the game” will be hot-topic-number-one until the Saints step on the field in Baltimore on Sunday.