5 reasons for the Ravens' dramatic overtime win

1. In a major twist on the Baltimore Ravens' usual method of victory, a dormant offense woke up and rescued the defense against the Seattle Seahawks for the top comeback in team history.

Without the career-best effort of interim quarterback Anthony Wright and former college teammate Marcus Robinson, kicker Matt Stover never gets the chance to boot the game-tying and game-winning field goals for Baltimore (6-5). The Ravens' 44-41 overtime victory Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium lasted four hours and one minute. It didn't take long for Wright and Robinson to identify weaknesses in the Seahawks' secondary, particularly cornerback Shawn Springs. They exploited the mismatch of Robinson's ideal size for four touchdown passes. A former Pro Bowl selection for the Chicago Bears, Robinson entered the game with only nine catches and no touchdowns. Wright completed 20 of his 37 passes for 319 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 119.1 quarterback rating. His previous career rating entering this season was 50.8 with a 46.4 completion percentage. Receivers Travis Taylor and Frank Sanders combined for six catches for 123 yards. Jamal Lewis fumbled once, but the NFL rushing leader gained 117 yards on 26 carries to tie his club season record of 1,364 yards.

2. Veteran kicker Matt Stover demonstrated his trademark poise for a field goal of 40 yards in the final seconds of regulation followed by a 42-yard kick to seal the victory in overtime. Stover said he knew as soon as he connected with the deciding field goal attempt that it would go in, crediting the snap from Joe Maese and the hold of punter Dave Zastudil.

3. Trailing 41-24, safety Ed Reed executed a crisp swim move past fullback Mack Strong and deflected the football cleanly off the foot of punter Tom Rouen. Reed sprang to his feet, scooped up the turnover and dashed into the end zone. The touchdown started Baltimore on a 20-0 scoring run that Seattle never answered.

4. Even though it wasn't a banner day for the Baltimore defense as Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck passed for five touchdowns and 333 yards, the Ravens stopped Seattle when they absolutely had to. Linebacker Ray Lewis took the football away from Strong to set up another touchdown pass from Wright to Robinson. Then, end Marques Douglas and offensive tackle Orlando Brown drove forward to stop Hasselbeck's quarterback sneak to get the ball back one more time to set up Stover's field goal at the end of regulation.

5. Because of a correct call by the officials, Baltimore was able to kick the game-tying field goal. Tight end Terry Jones' shoulders were parallel to the line of scrimmage and Baltimore was assessed with an illegal formation call. If it had been ruled an intentional ploy to stop the clock, it would have resulted in a 10-second runoff and ended the game. But it wasn't. A few plays earlier, Baltimore was the beneficiary of a 44-yard pass interference call against Seahawks rookie cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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