Last week, the game – and perhaps the division title – were rescued on a 4th and 29 miracle by Ray Rice with under two minutes to go in the game.
Two Sunday’s ago in Pittsburgh, Joe Flacco and Company were basically shutout, failing to score an offensive touchdown but somehow coming out on top, 13-10.
A month ago, a listless final 45 minutes in Cleveland was saved by a late Torrey Smith catch and run that helped the Ravens edge the lowly Browns.
Back in mid-October, Jason Garrett and Tony Romo mismanaged the clock in the game’s final 30 seconds and the Cowboys missed a game-winning field goal at the buzzer as Baltimore escaped again.
Four wins, four magic tricks.
The Ravens were bound to lose one of these.
You just can’t keep tempting fate in sports, winning games you don’t rightfully deserve because the other team’s defense can’t make a simple tackle or their coach goes for it on 4th down at his own 30 with four minutes to play or your punt returner scores the only TD of the game.
At some point, you’re going to lose a game because the other team will make their own magic.
And, if you believe in the football gods, it was probably going to be the Steelers who did it.
Give credit to Charlie Batch. In what could only be deemed one of the great days of an otherwise unspectacular career, Batch “manned up” as Denzel said in “Training Day”, guiding the Steelers down the field with his team’s playoff hopes perhaps in the balance and 71,000 fans making life miserable for him and his offense.
Sometimes, as I always remind you, the other team tries too.
And a game the Ravens thought they had in their grasp got stripped away at the buzzer.
This time, the other team didn’t mismanage the clock down the stretch. On this occasion, their receivers were sure-handed as the final minutes approached. And at the buzzer, with a kick to win it, Pittsburgh’s guy got the job done.
The Ravens weren’t going to go through the season and win week after week by making five aces appear out of a deck of cards.
At some point, someone else was going to perform their own magic.
No friggin’ way…