In a game that featured five touchdowns in about a two-minute span at game’s end, the Ravens got the final and deciding score, with Joe Flacco connecting with Marlon Brown on a nine-yard TD pass with four seconds left to give host Baltimore a 29-26 win over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.
Brown’s touchdown capped a memorable sequence in which the teams kept exchanging the lead in increasingly stunning fashion in the snow.
It all began when Flacco hit Dennis Pitta for a one-yard TD with 2:05 left to give the Ravens a 13-12 lead. Baltimore added a two-point conversion for a 15-12 edge.
But back came the Vikings, who retook the lead on a 41-yard TD run by Toby Gerhart, who replaced the injured Adrian Peterson, who left the game with an ankle ailment in the second quarter. Gerhart’s sprint up the middle gave Minnesota a 19-15 lead with 1:27 left.
The excitement was far from over, though.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones broke free for a 77-yard touchdown. Suddenly, the Ravens had a 22-19 edge with 1:16 left.
But that was short lived.
On the third play of the Vikings’ next drive, quarterback Matt Cassel threw a short screen pass to rookie wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, who did the rest, sprinting away for a 79-yard touchdown. Amazingly, the Vikings again had the lead.
Trailing 26-22 with 45 seconds left, the Ravens had 80 yards to go and two timeouts. They got 35 yards right off the bat when Flacco hit Brown down the middle on the first play of the drive. Baltimore used one of its timeouts to stop the clock.
Two plays later, though, Flacco was picked by Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo. However, Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway was penalized for pass interference, giving Baltimore an 18-yard gain and a first down.
The Ravens capitalized on the break. Flacco hit Pitta for 18 yards, moving the ball to the Minnesota 9. Then, on the next play, Flacco connected with Brown, who made an athletic catch to secure the lead — and ultimately victory — for the Ravens.
The win allowed the Ravens (7-6) to hold onto the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff chase. The Vikings, who lost the game but no face whatsoever in another brave performance, fell to 3-9-1.