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Ravens escape in overtime

The NFL narrowly avoided a major controversy in Sunday night’s Baltimore-Pittsburgh game.

And then the Ravens narrowly avoided a season-crushing loss to the Steelers.

Baltimore prevailed 20-17 in overtime after Paul Kruger picked off a Dennis Dixon pass and returned it 26 yards to the Pittsburgh 28-yard line.  Billy Cundiff connected on a 29-yard field goal to win the game five plays later.

Losing to the Steelers at home with Dixon at quarterback would have been embarrassing for a Ravens team with Super Bowl aspirations. 

Joe Flacco’s fourth down conversion to Ray Rice (and John Harbaugh’s gutsy decision to go for it) with under four minutes left in regulation helps keep Baltimore in the middle of a crowded AFC playoff race.

After three straight losses, Pittsburgh’s season may largely depend on the availability of Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu.

Seven teams in the AFC now have five or six losses, with the Ravens and Steelers both at 6-5.  Denver had the best Sunday of any wild-card hopeful.  If the season ended today, the Broncos stand alone as the fifth seed.

UPDATE:  Here are some of the highlights from the game, courtesy of NBC.

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19 Responses to “Ravens escape in overtime”
  1. ppdoc13 says: Nov 30, 2009 12:37 AM

    Another great game in the best rivalry in the NFL. I was surprised by how well Dennis Dixon played. Our DC finally got the idea in the last quarter to let this guy try to make reads, which he obviously has trouble doing.
    Your team came prepared to play despite not having Rapistburger and Polomalu. But then, I would expect nothing else from the Squealers and Mike Tomlin.
    See you in a couple of weeks. Your schedule is easier than ours based on winning percentage, but if we can take that second game from you in Pittsburgh it may slip us into the playoffs and bounce you out. One can always hope!!!!

  2. BlitzDorsey says: Nov 30, 2009 12:37 AM

    Ravens having Super Bowl aspirations. That’s a good one! They better find a real QB if they want to have Super Bowl aspirations. Unibrow Flacco is not getting it done.

  3. KyleOrtonsArm says: Nov 30, 2009 12:42 AM

    Damn right Broncos would

  4. Nick says: Nov 30, 2009 12:42 AM

    I don’t know how realistic the Super Bowl aspirations are for my boys, since before their injuries they weren’t playing great defense or consistently good on offense. Once you take away a starting CB, and Suggs for who knows how long, and a 5 loss record right now, it’s pretty bleak.
    PIT finally got to experience what BAL experienced the last 2 years, close losses when missing key players. PIT will bounce back, especially with the #1 easiest schedule left of all teams in the league.

  5. Bmore Styles says: Nov 30, 2009 12:47 AM

    It was gonna be a close game even if the Steelers played without any QB. Dixon played very well, but no matter what players are playing, as long as it’s Ravens vs Steelers it’s gonna be a close game.
    By faaaar the best rivalry in football. Great game.

  6. PatricktheDookie says: Nov 30, 2009 12:49 AM

    Broncos will play @ Indy (probable loss), @ philly (probable loss, but winnable), at home against Oakland (probable win) and two against the Chiefs (probable wins).
    The chance that Denver beats the Eagles is probably the same chance of the Chiefs beating Denver in Arrowhead, so you have to think the Broncos are likely to set the AFC Wild Card standard with 10 wins.
    That means any 6-5 team who wants a shot at the wild card needs to finish 4-1 in their final five games, and any 5-6 team needs to win out to have a chance. We can finally start eliminating some of these teams from contention after week 13.
    One important thing to note is that Denver has already lost to Baltimore and Pittsburgh, meaning that the Broncos could slide in tiebreaker scenarios.

  7. maxsteel says: Nov 30, 2009 12:51 AM

    First off I want to (cough up a lil puke in my mouth) congratulate the Ravens on the win.
    Secondly- Congrats on a great game by Dennis Dixon. All the way up til that pick He was awesome! I question tho the play calling with a minute ang a half to go in reg to pass when we were gaining good ground running. This would have been brought up more if Pit would of lost there. Like I said since last year Arians has to go! But oveerall good job by the offense and Rashard, can’t wait to get the help on D back from Troy

  8. Frank Burns says: Nov 30, 2009 1:01 AM

    To ppdoc (who eats cock) and all the other Ravens fans — congratulations! Thanks to your whining, you finally got the night game in Baltimore you so desperately craved. As we all know, the only thing stopping you from beating the Steeler was having to play in Pittsburgh at night, and this just proves it.
    Going to the league and crying like schoolgirls over having to play at night on the road — the key to success in the NFL. Lombardi would be proud.

  9. Pastabelly says: Nov 30, 2009 1:07 AM

    Florio, if you look at the Titans AFC record, you will see that they will be playing golf early.

  10. Poo Flinging Monkey says: Nov 30, 2009 1:49 AM

    And the Bengals rejoice at their three game divisional lead.

  11. Ken1313 says: Nov 30, 2009 6:49 AM

    Oh my…..have we reported Hines Ward’s post game comments yet? Please do…….he threw Big Ben under the bus BIG TIME…..what a tool. He basically said Ben is a wuss and should have played…..even if it meant lying about his condition. Obviously Ward has no regard for his QB’s health….or the NFL policy regarding concussions. Thanks God there are SMART people running the Steelers …not this fool

  12. IHATECRYBABYFANS says: Nov 30, 2009 7:44 AM

    It’s time for Dick Lebeau to take some heat for the sh*tty defense at the end of games. Everyone gets on Bruce Arians for his play calling yet this is the forth game that the defense could not make a stop to hold the lead. By the way; I think Bruce Arians is a horrible OC.

  13. j. white says: Nov 30, 2009 10:00 AM

    I believe that the Pittsburgh coaches pretty much gave this game away for the following 2 reasons. 1. It was the worst time management at the end of the first half that I have seen in a while. The Steelers had 2 timeouts and a first down at their 40 with 42 seconds on the clock. They needed 25 more yards for an extra 3 points. What were they thinking. 2. The play calling for Dixon sucked at the end of this game. This guy can run and run and keep running. Why the hell do you not try and get him out of the pocket and then let him decide to run or pass? Even the sorry announcers knew what they should try and they never tried it. Arians is a terrible play caller. Even when Ben is in, Arians calling and timing is terrible. If Ben wasn’t improvising as much as he does, Arians would have been gone long ago.
    The Steelers were lucky to be in this game with Ben and Polamalu out, but the coaches efforts during this key AFC and divisional matchup was pathetic!!

  14. ppdoc13 says: Nov 30, 2009 10:21 AM

    Classy as ever Frank Burns who still eats worms. You are a petulant child who needs a good spanking. BTW ppdoc’s take care of cock’s. Even microscopic ones like yours. I’m done with you. You are not only a poor loser, but an ungracious winner. You hide happily behind your screen and keyboard likely because you got beat up too much as a teenage with a zitty face to come out in the light and show yourself for who you are. You need help. Go see a therapist.

  15. SpartaChris says: Nov 30, 2009 10:29 AM

    I dunno about calling it the best rivalry in the NFL. A good one for sure, but calling it the best is pretty tough when you have other excellent rivalries such as Pats/Colts and Packers/Vikings.
    But, good game nonetheless. Was glad to see Baltimore get the win.

  16. slipkid says: Nov 30, 2009 10:31 AM

    ward has already lost his mind.
    glad here that balto pulled it out but that defensive call on the dixon td run was stupid.
    zone, people, zone. make dixon make a decision as a passer. stay in yer rush lanes. keep him from getting way.
    when i saw that run i figured balto would lose.

  17. Frank Burns says: Nov 30, 2009 2:17 PM

    ppdoc13 says:
    November 30, 2009 10:21 AM
    Classy as ever Frank Burns who still eats worms. You are a petulant child who needs a good spanking. BTW ppdoc’s take care of cock’s. Even microscopic ones like yours. I’m done with you. You are not only a poor loser, but an ungracious winner. You hide happily behind your screen and keyboard likely because you got beat up too much as a teenage with a zitty face to come out in the light and show yourself for who you are. You need help. Go see a therapist.
    —————————————–
    Your bizarre obsession with me is as disturbing as it is hilarious, ppdoc (who eats cock). Again, I have to hand it to you for whining about “ungracious winners” all the while you spend your own post-win time bitterly spewing out insults. Maybe the doc should heal thyself, and see that therapist himself?

  18. Vox's Mommy says: Nov 30, 2009 8:03 PM

    SpartaChris….
    Anyone in this thread (Pit and Bal fans) will argue with you until they’re blue in the face that this is the best rivalry in the league. Of course we’re bias here….but this is Pittsburgh and Baltimore brand of football. No fancy, gun-slinging offenses, and two defenses that make you put in work to get so much as 3 points. There is an intense hate/respect which brings out the best. I don’t see ANY game ALL year that is as physical as this one, and the poor bastards have to do it twice a year minimum. I’ve never in my life watched a Pats/Colts (and no….not even the one they played this year) or Vikes/Packers game that is as good as a Steelers vs. Ravens game. Other rivalry games may get a little more glory because the Rivalry has been going on longer (or the QB’s of each team just so happen to be the faces of the league), but this is bar none the best.

  19. SteelerJim says: Nov 30, 2009 10:44 PM

    ppdoc13, I disagree with Frank Burns, I found your comments about the game mostly gracious. Well, except when you call Ben a rapist & the team the Squealers. I’ll restrain myself from making comments about a certain LB accussed of just as serious crime here. Both cases on being wrongly accussed I hope. But Burns’ reply is poor. I can’t defend him even if he is a Steelers fan. How about we talk football?!?
    Great game. Rice had me screaming at the tv all nite. What a player! Gutsy 4th down call. I really like your coach. Why didn’t we call timeout when Farrior’s mismatched there? Dang it! I was very disappointed in Bruces play calling, Dixon is not Ben, Run The Ball Bruce. Geez. Ravens have won 6 of last 7 in Baltimore, tough team, great rivalry. Congrats Raven fans. Hoping for a better outcome for the black & gold in Pittsburgh.

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