Well, that was something. The Ravens just upset the Broncos 38-35 in double overtime to reach the AFC title game. It was a wild seesaw affair, with five ties (not including 0-0 at the beginning of the game, for the record), and when Justin Tucker’s 47-yard field goal won it for Baltimore, it was the first time the Ravens had led since the first quarter. It was an immensely tense, entertaining game, and set an incredibly difficult standard for the rest of the playoffs to live up to.
But it never should have gotten to overtime to begin with. The Ravens got the ball with less than a minute left after some incredibly conservative Bronco play calling (Peyton Manning would go on to make this strategy look smart in overtime, but that’s another story), and faced a third-and-3 with just over 30 seconds to go. Joe Flacco heaved it deep. Now, the prevent defense gets a lot of grief, but exists for situations like this – situations in which you will do basically anything not to give up a long touchdown. All the Broncos had to do was play some proper prevent D, and they would’ve been AFC title game bound. Instead… this happened:
Your guess is as good as ours as to how you get as lost as Rahim Moore was on that play, but, uh, we don’t envy Moore right now one bit. Or Broncos fans, for that matter. What a brutal way for a mostly-charmed season to end. As long as Peyton Manning can stay upright, Denver should be in the playoffs every year, but this season was a golden opportunity, and now it’s over. A devastating loss, and if too many people start asking if the Broncos would have won the game if Tim Tebow had played, it’ll be a loss for America, too.