Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took a knee with a little over 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter just after the Baltimore Ravens scored a clutch touchdown through the air. The momentum had obviously shifted in the Ravens’ favor, yet the Broncos could not capitalize off of the growing fatigue of one of the oldest defensive lines in the league and go for it with Peyton at the helm.

In case Denver has yet to notice, Manning is going to be a first ballot HOFer. A quarterback of that caliber, in any other case, would likely be taking calculated shots down the field to set up a field goal for the win. That is all it would have taken for Denver to be stepping foot into the AFC Championship game.

However, it seemed as if John Fox was daring Flacco to win it in OT, or at least daring the Ravens’ fatigued defense to dig deep for the effort to put a stop to Peyton Manning. An interception during what would come to be Denver’s last drive of the season sealed the Ravens’ victory. Corey Graham secured the ball as he pulled it from Brandon Stokley’s reach and it became the start of an extension of greatness.

Ray Lewis’ career was on the brink of being over and as he knelt down and RB Ray Rice joined him on the field his tears told an incredible of a journey that is not over just yet. Baltimore fans, towards the end of the fourth quarter, may have been signing his release from their expectations on NFL Sundays here and out, yet the Ravens had another avenue in mind.

There may have been several reasons why Baltimore pulled out the victory, but there had to be some revelation of their leader’s absence had they not got it done. It’s narrow-minded to believe that it was the sole reason for triumph, yet an obvious fraction of their drive.

Next up:

The Baltimore Ravens are going to face whatever teams makes it out of the Houston-New England matchup alive. After their previous meeting, the Texans are being counted out before team captains meet centerfield. Hopefully, things will look a little brighter for JJ Watt who only had four tackles, only one of which truly mattered as it resulted in a fumble.

The Texans’ offense was stymied against the seemingly juggernaut, if only for a moment, Pats. No doubters can disprove that New England put in work against Houston, but throughout a lot of that game, the Texans put their own foot in their mouth.

Wade Phillips was perplexed as the Patriots’ receivers were uncovered for a majority of the game. Brady was able to utilize every weapon on the field for 296 passing yards and four touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see how Houston plans on recovering from such a pitiful performance.

Looking Back

It is not the end of an era, but Torrey Smith may have exposed Champ Bailey for what he no longer can do. By the end of the first half, announcers and fans were calling for help over the top for Bailey because he just could not keep up with Smith. Joe Flacco continued to target Champ as it became apparent that Torrey would continue to burn him by any means necessary. Champ Bailey will be in the hall of fame one day, but this day only one game mattered.

Player of the Game:

It may have been Ray Lewis’ storyline that shone throughout the game, but it was Joe Flacco’s performance, especially in the clutch, that insured his return to the field if only for one more game. Flacco gets a lot of crap tossed his way for not being an elite quarterback but he did everything right in this game to ensure that his franchise would be playing in the AFC Championship. While analysts stated that Baltimore could only win a low-scoring game, Flacco set out to prove that he could be trusted if the responsibility fell in his lap. Throwing for three touchdowns and 331 yards is going to convince anyone that he has arrived.Watch Miami Heat Live Stream Free Online Game Streaming

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