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(Sunday, October 24th)
Final Score: Baltimore 37, Buffalo 34 (OT)
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Billy Cundiff's 38-yard field goal with just over four minutes played in overtime capped a rally as Baltimore recovered from a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat Buffalo, 37-34.
Joe Flacco finished 16-of-31 but passed for 250 yards and three scores -- two to Todd Heap -- for the Ravens (5-2), who have won four of their last five.
Heap posted three catches for 59 yards while Anquan Boldin had six receptions for 92 yards and a score. Ray Rice gained 72 yards on 16 carries and Willis McGahee totaled 64 yards on the ground with a TD on 11 carries.
"I'd like to tell you that I told the team, 'Hey, we're going to get two turnovers to start the second half, or whatever, after the kickoff,'" said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. "I think we were down 24-10 at one point, so we were fighting back the whole game. Then we got the lead and we would have liked to put them away, and we had a chance to do it and we didn't."
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 29-of-43 for career-bests of 374 yards and four touchdowns, but was picked off twice for the Bills (0-6), who haven't seen a stretch of similar futility since opening up a 2-14 season in 1985 by going 0-6. After Carolina's narrow win over San Francisco earlier Sunday, Buffalo is the lone winless squad in the NFL.
"This one's really hard," said Fitzpatrick. "We got up early, made some big plays early, then gave them 14 points on the fumble on the kickoff at the end of the [first] half and an interception I threw to start the third quarter."
Steve Johnson led all receivers with 158 yards and a touchdown reception on eight catches, and Lee Evans posted three scores and 105 yards on six grabs in defeat.
Baltimore's successful OT drive came as a result of their defense, as Bills wideout Shawn Nelson fumbled a catch which was picked up by Ray Lewis at the Buffalo 45. An unnecessary roughness call on the Bills pushed the ball to the 29, and a defensive offside call on second down gave the Ravens a 3rd-and-1 at the 20. McGahee rushed for no gain before Cundiff's winning kick.
Cundiff's 41-yard field goal gave the Ravens an early edge, but Buffalo responded on a 33-yard scoring connection from Fitzpatrick to Evans.
Rian Lindell's 21-yarder gave the Bills a 10-3 edge after one quarter, and a Fitzpatrick TD pass to Johnson for 33 yards made it 17-3 for the visitors.
Flacco struck back with a 26-yard score to Heap, but Evans hauled in his second TD pass of the half -- a 20-yard reception -- to make it 24-10 for the visitors with 4:56 left in the second quarter.
Cundiff drilled a 48-yarder with under a minute to play in the half, then C.J. Spiller had the ball stripped away on the kickoff. The Ravens took over on the Bills' 27 and Heap grabbed a pass just inside the goal line from 14 yards out for a 24-20 game.
Lewis tipped a Fitzpatrick pass on the first play of the second half and Ed Reed came down with the ball. Baltimore took over on the Buffalo 34 and on the first play, Flacco hit Boldin on a flea-flicker, giving the Ravens a 27-24 edge.
Reed, who spent the first six weeks on the physically unable to perform list after off-season hip surgery, also forced a fumble in the contest.
"Oh man, it was beautiful. Coming out here and knowing the fans were going to be how they were, that was just a dream come true," said Reed. "It was like being a rookie all over again."
On the Bills' next series, Fitzpatrick failed to make a 4th-and-1 from the Baltimore 34, and the Ravens converted on a McGahee two-yard run to go up 34-24.
Reed added his second interception of the half two plays later and returned the ball 40 yards to the Bills' nine, but Flacco coughed up the ball on first down. The Bills failed to score on that drive, but on their next try went 63 yards in five plays and closed to 34-31 with 5:46 to play on a 17-yard pass to Evans.
The Ravens went three-and-out, and after a punt the Bills had the ball on their own nine-yard line. Facing a 4th-and-7 from their own 12 after the two- minute warning, David Nelson caught a 16-yard pass. Four more Fitzpatrick completions got Buffalo to the Baltimore 44 with 37 ticks left.
A 12-yard completion to Johnson on 3rd-and-10 put the ball at the 32 with eight seconds left, and Lindell nailed a 50-yarder to tie the game with four seconds to go.
"It's hard to win when you turn it over four times. I thought the turnover right before the half and right at the start of the third quarter...really, those two hurt," admitted Bills head coach Chan Gailey. "But I thought our guys fought their rear off, came back and then got to a point where they could win the ball game."
Baltimore has won three of the five meetings...Buffalo also dropped its first six games of the 1984 season, going 2-14 after losing 11 in a row to start the year...The 1971 Buffalo squad lost 10 in a row from the start of that season en route to a 1-13 finish...Buffalo racked up 506 yards on total offense in the loss, while the Ravens had 364 yards...Fitzpatrick's four TD passes were the most against the Ravens defense since Peyton Manning threw four in a December 9, 2007 game...Evans tied a career-high with three touchdown grabs, having accomplished the feat on December 4, 2005 at Miami...The Bills listed cornerback Terrence McGee, tackle Cornell Green and linebacker Keith Ellison as inactive...The Ravens listed safety Tom Zbikowski, linebacker Tavares Gooden and wideout David Reed as inactive.
10/24 18:00:32 ET
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