High-flying Ravens break Chargers' hearts in overtime

Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:18pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The high-flying Baltimore Ravens broke San Diego Chargers' hearts and dealt a major blow to their playoff hopes when Justin Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to complete a hard fought 16-13 win in overtime on Sunday.

While the AFC North leading Ravens improved to 9-2 with their fourth straight victory, Philip Rivers and the Chargers slipped to 4-7, despite having never trailed Baltimore in regulation on a sunny afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.

A touchdown by wide receiver Malcom Floyd early in the second quarter put San Diego in control for much of the game but Baltimore forced overtime with a late score by tight end Dennis Pitta and a Tucker field goal with just three seconds left.

Tucker's field goal came six plays after a stunning catch-and-run by Ray Rice to convert a controversial fourth-and-29 from Baltimore's 37.

Both sides then had two plays apiece in extra time but it was the Ravens who prevailed when Tucker coolly powered the ball through the uprights to end a 12-play drive.

"I just know that we have a football team that has the biggest hearts I've ever seen," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters. "I don't want to go overboard here but how can you not? Have you ever seen a game like that?

"The thing I'm most proud of, besides Ray Rice making it on fourth and 29, is that when things were looking the most difficult ... not one guy was pointing his finger or getting down on somebody else."

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco completed 30 of 51 passes for 355 yards and one touchdown while Rivers threw for 228 yards and one touchdown as his demoralized team suffered a third straight loss.   Continued...

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passes the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of their NFL football game in San Diego, California November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok