Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco INT in end zone ends comeback bid vs. Arizona Cardinals


26. Final. 26. 32. 18

The Baltimore Ravens broke our hearts in the final seconds of the game once again on Monday Night Football as they could not make the comeback against the Arizona Cardinals. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a game-ending interception in the end zone to give the Cardinals the 26-18 win at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Flacco had the Ravens in position to get the touchdown to put Baltimore in position to tie the game, but once again threw a terrible interception that Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson was able to haul in to end the game. It looked to be the same play that Flacco was picked off in Denver to seal the game for the Ravens back then also.

The losses are getting tough for the Ravens as they always seem to be within striking distance of winning each game they are in. That has to take a mental toll on this team, and the morale inside the locker room has to be somber. However, it is the Ravens who keep shooting themselves in the foot.

The Ravens actually looked like the better team out of the gate. Arizona took their opening possession of the game within scoring distance, but their drive was stopped on a third-down sack by linebacker C.J. Mosley. Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed on a 55-yard field goal attempt to give the Ravens good field position. Baltimore used the missed attempt to get into field goal range and kicker Justin Tucker hit a 44-yard field goal to give the Ravens an early 3-0 lead.

Arizona struck back quickly on their next possession, needing just three plays to go 80 yards and scoring the opening touchdown of the game. Carson Palmer had consecutive passes of over 20 yards and then Chris Johnson capped the drive off with a 26-yard touchdown run to give Baltimore a 7-3 lead with 3:59 remaining in the first. 

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The teams continued to jab back and forth and flirt with potential scoring drives, but the defense made some key stops on third downs that forced the offenses to punt. Will Hill had a huge hit on Jermaine Gresham on a third down play that would have put Arizona deep in scoring territory.

Following the Cardinals punt, the running backs got involved in the offense. Buck Allen had a nice 15-yard run, and two plays later, caught a 10-yard pass to get the Ravens into the red zone. Justin Forsett capped off the drive on the next play with a 14-yard touchdown in which he shook an Arizona defender to find pay dirt and give Baltimore a 10-7 lead.

The Ravens defense looked to have made a huge stop on the Cardinals next possession, but Jeremy Ross fumbled on the ensuing punt to set Arizona up in great field position at the 25-yard-line. Tack on an unnecessary roughness penalty on Asa Jackson and the Cardinals took over at the 12. Palmer would need five plays – one of them a terrible pass interference call on Lardarius Webb – to find Michael Floyd on a 3-yard touchdown pass to give Arizona a 14-10 lead with 1:01 remaining in the first half and into halftime.

The first points of the second half came on a 21-yard field goal by Catanzaro to extend the Cardinals lead to 17-10. The drive was set up by a beautiful 35-yard reception by John Brown that put Arizona inside the Ravens 10-yard-line. The Baltimore D did get a solid win on the series as they were able to keep the Cardinals out of the end zone.

Then came the play that many of us are still scratching our heads about.

Brandon Williams made the tackle on Johnson, but his body never hit the ground and he continued on for 62 yards to set the Cardinals up with 1st-and-goal from the 6-yard-line. His momentum did look to be stopped and most of the players on the field did as well. Fortunately Will Hill was able to run down the speedy Johnson and keep him out of the end zone. The Ravens red zone defense stepped up once again and forced another Catanzaro field goal to make it a 20-10 game. 

The Cardinals continued to tack on the points on an 11-play, 79-yard drive in which the Ravens defense was exposed in every way. The run defense could not a stop on a key third-and-1 play, and then each of the Cardinals’ receivers made a play on the drive to hurt the secondary. Brown caught a four-yard touchdown with 8:08 remaining in the game to make it a 26-10 game. Catanzaro missed the PAT which left the Ravens some hope, being down just two scores.

Baltimore made it interesting by blocking a Drew Butler punt with a little under five minutes remaining. Asa Jackson was able to rush right up the middle for the block and set the Ravens up with first-and-goal from the 1-yard-line. Flacco would find Kyle Juszczyk on the next play for the touchdown. Flacco found his fellow University of Delaware alum, Nick Boyle, for the two-point conversion and the Ravens were back in the ballgame.

The Ravens benefited from some pretty questionable play calling by Bruce Arians that gave Flacco possession with 1:53 remaining in the game. He was able to get the Ravens in a goal-to-go situation, but threw another terrible interception off his back foot that landed in the open arms of Jefferson.

They are now 1-6 and there really is only one way to describe how this season has gone thus far.

The Ravens will head home to take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Philip Rivers is another quarterback that is capable of torching the Ravens suspect secondary. As always, stay with us at The Baltimore Wire for continuous coverage of the Baltimore Ravens.

Next: Ravens vs. Cardinals Score Prediction

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