After being handed a defeat in Week 14 by the New England Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens put themselves up against a wall in hopes of getting into the playoffs. They needed to win the final three games of the season, and took care of the first part by holding off the Philadelphia Eagles 27-26 on a rainy, windy cold Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
The Ravens made their move early when Ravens LB Zachary Orr picked off Eagles QB Carson Wentz. The Ravens converted when Joe Flacco hit Kamar Aiken wide open in the end zone from the 5-yard line. The Eagles responded with a field goal later in the first quarter to make it a 7-3 game. The Ravens regained a 7-point lead when Justin Tucker hit a field goal from 53 yards.
The Eagles tied the game early in the second quarter after recovering a fumble that Flacco lost deep in their own territory. Ryan Matthew ran one in and then leaped into the end-zone on a 2-point conversion to put the Eagles ahead 11-10. The teams traded field goals but Flacco connected with Steve Smith, Sr. from 34 yards out to give the Ravens a 20-14 advantage at halftime.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles trimmed the Ravens lead to 3 with a field goal. Then the Ravens pulled ahead by 10 with a 16-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Dixon, his first touchdown in the NFL. On the next Eagles possession, the team failed to convert a fourth down, and the Ravens pressed deep into Eagles territory, but Joe Flacco threw an interception in the red zone. The Eagles turned that into 3 points.
The Ravens went 3-and-out on their next possession, and the Eagles started their drive with less than 2 minutes left in the game. With 4 seconds left, Wentz scrambled to the end zone for a touchdown. The game would have effectively gone into overtime had the Eagles kicked the extra point, but they decided to go for the win on a 2-point conversion. The Eagles went for a pass attempt, but Terrell Suggs managed to get a piece of the throw, and the ball fell incomplete and the Ravens held on for the close win.
The 8-6 Ravens head to Pittsburgh on Christmas Day next Sunday to play AFC North division leader Steelers in another must win game.
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