Search this site
Junior College Football
From 4th-and-29 to World Champs
This story originally published on
RB Ray Rice
Posted Feb 4, 2013
How should a San Diego Chargers fan react to a gloating Ravens fan after Baltimore's 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII? Two words: you're welcome.
Let's not take credit away from where it is due. The Ravens played outstanding this season: winning the AFC North, surviving a Divisional Round double-overtime marathon against the Broncos, and of course, holding off a second-half comeback by San Francisco in the Super Bowl.
But if there's one play that could be called the make-or-brake moment in Baltimore's season, it would be
's fourth-and-29 conversion against the Chargers back in Week 12.
The Chargers held a three-point lead with 1:37 left in regulation. San Diego, looking to improve to 5-6 and stay in the playoff hunt, had the Ravens exactly where it wanted them.
It was this exact moment, this very play, where the seasons of both teams dangled in the balance. Baltimore was in a fight for first place with the
, while the Chargers faced losing their sixth game in seven weeks as their chances of a wild card berth began to fade. It would be the darkest moment of what was a very bright season for John Pagano's defense.
In the span of 13 seconds, Rice avoided eight Chargers defenders before finally being brought down by
right at the first-down sticks.
was injured on the play, but that's no excuse for the seven other Chargers who seemed to forget how to tackle.
Was it a fluke? Was it a miscommunication? Was it karma? After watching the replay over and over, the only way to describe the Chargers defense is "lifeless." There was simply no will to tackle.
So what happened? The Chargers balked. The Ravens found a way to win. Each team's season could be summarized by that one play. Hey diddle diddle, Ray Rice up the middle.
The Ravens and Bengals finished with identical 10-6 records, the tie-breaker belonging to Baltimore. Even if the Ravens had lost to San Diego, a 9-7 record would have still been enough for a wild card spot. But how would the Ravens' road to the Super Bowl have been different?
How would Baltimore have fared against
? Those teams met in Houston in Week 7, a game the Ravens lost by 30.
Former coach Norv Turner was frequently criticized because his lack of emotion was reflected in his team's often-disinterested play on the field. With Dean Spanos believing in Mike McCoy the way Gotham City believed in Harvey Dent, the hope is McCoy can reignite this Chargers unit to get rid of such mental lapses next season.
Brian Ducoffe is in his second year of covering San Diego sports. He has been previously published in University Link Magazine and wrote as an NBA columnist for
. Follow Brian on twitter
Free Agent Spotlight: Rashad Jennings
Feb 5, 2013
Norv Turner becomes Browns new offensive coor
Jan 17, 2013
Tackling a Serious Issue
Feb 16, 2013
Scout Publishing is the #1 U.S. publisher of team-specific magazines. Click to view any one of our
40+ team magazines!
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to
Football > San Diego
View My HotList
Places to go:
Junior College Football
Things to do:
Things to buy:
Things to know:
Terms of Service
Advertise on MSN
About our ads
© 2013 Microsoft