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pfr ravens vikings

I don’t know if any of us have ever seen a game quite like the end of Baltimore-Minnesota. With 2:05 left in the game, Baltimore faced 4th-and-goal from the Vikings 1-yard line. The Ravens trailed 12-7.

In what looked to be the game-winner, Joe Flacco hit Dennis Pitta for a touchdown pass. A two-point conversion to Torrey Smith put the Ravens up, 15-12.

On the next play from scrimmage, Matt Cassel hit Jerome Simpson for 27 yards. With 1:27 left, Toby Gerhart rushed up the middle for a 41-yard touchdown, which looked to be the game winner. The Vikings now led 19-15.

But Jacoby Jones returned the ensuing kickoff for what looked to be a game-winning, 77-yard touchdown, to put Baltimore back on top, 22-19.

Matt Cassel then threw a couple of incompletions, before throwing a screen pass to Cordarrelle Patterson…. that the rookie to the house for a 79-yard touchdown. That looked to be the game-winner, as Minnesota now lead 26-22.

But then Joe Flacco drove the Ravens down the field, and hit Marlon Brown for a nine-yard touchdown with four seconds left, in what was actually the game-winner. Baltimore left with a very unlikely 29-26 victory.

Add in the Cassel-to-Simpson touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter, and that means there were six touchdowns in the final quarter that were lead-changing scores. That’s an NFL record.

Prior to this game, only four games saw five lead-changing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A Bills-Raiders Ryan Fitzpatrick/Jason Campbell shootout from 2011, a Bruce Gradkowski-fueled comeback win over Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in 2009, a Monday Night thriller between the great Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne earlier that same season, and a Giants-Cardinals shootout from 1962. Hat/tip to the great Scott Hanson for alerting me to the record.

  • JWL

    These two teams have played interesting games. The first one had several kickoff return touchdowns. The Christmas night game in 2005 saw Kyle Boller knock the Vikings out of playoff contention. The 2009 game was good.

  • Archer

    You list four games (with 5 lead-changing TDs) in the last paragraph, not three…

    • Chase Stuart

      Math is not my strong suit. Fixed.

  • I’ve only calculated about 70% of the games this year, but Cassel and Flacco both surpassed Matthew Stafford with the highest 4th Quarter Win Probability Added drives of the year. And Flacco doesn’t even get any credit for the kickoff return TD.

    Stafford had 0.979 WPA in the 4th quarter of the Dal-Det game in week 8.

    Flacco had 1.112 and Cassel had 1.095 4th quarter WPA.