Ravens stun Broncos in double overtime playoff thriller

Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:04am EST
 

(Reuters) - The Baltimore Ravens fought back for a 38-35 overtime win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday in a thrilling playoff encounter that puts them one win away from their first Super Bowl berth in 12 years.

The visiting Ravens, who entered the game as 9-1/2 point underdogs, grabbed victory when Justin Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal in the second overtime, six plays after Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was intercepted.

Tucker's ice-cool kick in the freezing Mile High stadium ended a pulsating back-and-forth game that included a 90-yard punt return and 104-yard kickoff return for touchdowns from Denver's Trindon Holliday.

"That football game did the game of football proud," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, "It was one of the greatest football games you are ever going to see."

Denver were heading for victory in regulation until Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left that tied the score at 35-35.

Then, after both defenses came up strong in overtime, Manning, who threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns, was intercepted for a second time when Corey Graham superbly picked off a pass intended for Brandon Stokley.

"A bad throw and the decision probably wasn't great either," said Manning.

With the win, the Ravens advance to the American Football Conference championship game on January 20, where they will play the winner of Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans.

The game was incident packed from the outset with Holliday opening the scoring with a spectacular punt return less than three minutes in. But Baltimore responded with quick touchdowns as Flacco found Torrey Smith with a 59-yard pass before Corey Graham intercepted Manning and ran in a 39-yard score.   Continued...

 
Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks the game winning field goal against the Denver Broncos with holder Sam Koch in their NFL AFC Divisional playoff football game in Denver, Colorado January 12, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes