Be honest, people - When the Ravens had to punt the ball back to the Saints with three minutes left in the fourth quarter and holding just a three-point lead, how many of you thought, "Here we go again"?
Hey, don't be embarrassed to raise your hands. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata says he was thinking something along those lines as well.
"Of course, of course. I think everybody on our defense was thinking that we couldn't let this one get away," Ngata said.
Well, there you go.
After blowing late leads against the Patriots, Bills, Falcons, Steelers, and Texans, we had gotten to the point where we almost expect the Ravens to make things difficult on themselves in the fourth quarter.
They did so again today, and with three minutes to go, the Saints and their four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, Drew Brees, had the ball with a chance to tie the game or take a lead. Just six days earlier, in a similar situation, the Ravens let the Texans march 95 yards in under three minutes to pick up a game-tying touchdown.
This time, with the Saints backed up at their own four-yard line, the Ravens' defense held tough.
Haloti Ngata tipped a Brees fourth-down pass at the line of scrimmage, defensive end Cory Redding grabbed the loose ball for his first career interception, and the Ravens were able to put the game away.
"We've been in that situation a lot this year, and given up some long drives. That bothers us," linebacker Jarret Johnson said. "We want to be a team that's dominant when we're in that situation, and so for us to come up big like that and get the win, it was huge."
"Throughout this year we have always let teams finish us off," Ngata said. "It just felt great that our defense could help out our offense like that."
The members of the Ravens' defense say that their confidence hasn't wavered despite their late-game issues, but it still must've been nice to shut the door on an offense as potent as New Orleans' in a big situation.
Even if a player or two was feeling like they might have been experiencing a case of dÃ©jÃ vu.
"That's something that we've struggled with at times, obviously, and we've been disappointed with the consistency at the end of games," head coach John Harbaugh said. "We gave up one [touchdown] at the end of the [first] half, but they got it done at the end of the game when they had to today, and that was big."