The Ravens offense is again finding its groove in the second half, which is all of a sudden looking like a trend since it has happened each of the last three weeks.
Baltimore put together its best drive of the game in the middle of the third quarter, needing just four plays and 1 minute, 31 seconds to move 80 yards for a score - a 26-yard touchdown pass threaded to Torrey Smith by Joe Flacco. That cut Buffalo’s lead to 20-14 with 7:22 to go in the third.
Flacco started the drive with two passes to Dallas Clark for 17 yards. He followed with a 22-yard strike to Smith, and a horse-collar tackle by Aaron Williams tacked on 15 yards at the end. Flacco then found Smith in stride down the seam for a touchdown.
On that possession alone, Flacco went 4-for-4 for 55 yards, upping his totals to 17-for-31 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Baltimore was given a big opportunity to score earlier in the third quarter when linebacker Daryl Smith intercepted EJ Manuel for his second pick in as many games, setting the Ravens up at the Buffalo 18. But Flacco was picked off by Williams in the end zone to essentially give away three points.
But Flacco made up for it later and the Ravens certainly aren’t out of this one.
Update: Flacco was intercepted yet again, matching his career high with his fourth of the game. It is only the second time the Ravens quarterback has been picked off four times in one contest out of 84 career games.
The Bills were initially ruled to have capitalized for seven more points, making it 17 off Flacco interceptions, when a Manuel 4-yard pass to Robert Woods was called a touchdown. But it was overturned on review, as cornerback Jimmy Smith jarred the ball loose and Woods bobbled it before getting two feet down in bounds.
Buffalo instead added three points to its lead and now is up 23-14 in the fourth quarter after Dan Carpenter’s 22-yard field goal.
Can the Ravens come back? They’re attempting to do it solely with the pass, in part contributing to the high volume of interceptions. Baltimore has zero rushing yards in the second half.
Update II: The Ravens have allowed 215 rushing yards after entering the contest holding teams to 74.7 per game.
They still might be able to come back to win this one. Corey Graham intercepted a deep pass by Manuel, who was looking to nail down the win.
Flacco followed with a 74-yard pass to Torrey Smith, who was oh so close to breaking loose and taking it in for a touchdown. The Ravens had to settle - lots of settling in this game - for a 35-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.
That trims the Bills’ lead to 23-17 with 7:12 remaining.
Update III: The Ravens pulled to within 23-20 on Tucker’s 24-yard field goal with 4:04 remaining.
Baltimore drove 50 yards in five plays for the score, with a penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver - Deonte Thompson - getting the offense down to the Bills’ 11. But the Ravens would stall at the Buffalo 6 and took the three points.
The Bills followed by going three and out, so Baltimore gets the ball back with 2:32 to go.