By Terrance Turner
Oct. 11, 2021
They were down 22 to 3 (!!!). They’d only managed a field goal. The offense had produced a scant three points. The Indianapolis Colts were running all over them. But somehow, the Baltimore Ravens prevailed. Lead by the dazzling dual threat of quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens fought their way to an overtime win.
The scoring started fairly early. Colts running back Jonathan Taylor scored off a 75-yard pass form quarterback Carson Wentz. That touchdown gave Indianapolis a 7-0 point lead. Both teams only managed 3 points of offense apiece in the second quarter. Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker nailed a 2-yard field goal; Colts kicker Rodrigo Blackenship drilled a 37-yard field goal as time expired. The game was 10-3 at halftime.
By halftime, news had broken that Raiders coach Jon Gruden had resigned from his job as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. This was ironic, given that Gruden had at one point provided commentary for “Monday Night Football”. But though Gruden’s resignation dominated the headlines (and was at one point trending No. 1 on Twitter), Jackson and the Ravens took the spotlight back.
It took them a while. Michael Pittman Jr. caught a pass from Wentz for a 42-yard touchdown. (But Blankenship missed the extra-point kick.) Then Taylor struck again with a four-yard touchdown run. Now it was 22-3 with just three minutes left in the third quarter. Baltimore had to score. With just 56 seconds left in the quarter, Jackson fired a pass to running back Marquise Brown for a 43-yard score.
And then, after a field goal by Blankenship, Lamar Jackson caught fire.
As the fourth quarter got underway, Lamar Jackson led the Ravens to the end zone in just over two minutes. With 9:38 left in the fourth quarter, Jackson hurled the ball to Ravens tight end Mark Andrews for a 5-yard touchdown, and the two combined for a two-point conversion.
It was a one-score game with four minutes left. Blankenship attempted a field goal to expand the lead, but Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell blocked the kick. Then, with just 39 seconds left in regulation, Jackson found Andrews again — and the two combined for a two-point conversion (again!). Remarkably, after a 19-point deficit, the Ravens had tied the game.
With just over half a minute to spare, the Colts needed a field goal to win. They advanced to field goal range, helped by a penalty on cornerback Tavon Young. Blankenship had a chance to win the game for his team with a 47-yard field goal attempt. But he missed the kick. With the teams tied at 25, the game went to overtime.
The Ravens powered down the field, with Jackson completing one pass after another. He survived what looked like a scary fumble (he was down by contact) at the one-yard line. Then he heaved a 5-yard pass to Marquise Brown for the touchdown.
The Ravens won in overtime, 31-25. It’s their fourth consecutive win. Jackson completed 86% of his passes (37-for-43) and threw for 442 yards (a career high). According to ESPN, Jackson has the highest completion percentage ever for a quarterback throwing over 400 yards. Jackson is the first player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards and a completion percentage above 85 in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
“It’s one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.