Ravens show their spirit with stunning win in Denver

Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:02am EST
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(Reuters) - The Baltimore Ravens fell behind the Denver Broncos four times on Saturday and each time they battled back to level the game with the final rally paving the way for a stunning playoffs win which epitomizes the team's fighting spirit.

"This is a team of destiny," said running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown in the thrilling 38-35 double overtime AFC divisional playoff victory.

"Just look at the way we played today - it wasn't pretty, it wasn't perfect, but it was us," he added.

Baltimore were 31 seconds away from elimination when quarterback Joe Flacco hurled a 70-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jacoby Jones to silence the home fans and send the game into overtime.

Then, after Peyton Manning threw an interception, Justin Tucker's 47-yard field goal sent the Ravens into the AFC Championship game for the second successive year.

"This will probably go down as one of the greatest victories in Ravens history," said linebacker Ray Lewis, Baltimore's undisputed leader, who will retire whenever this season finally ends.

Last week's 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts was Lewis' final home game for the team he has played for since being drafted in 1996 but his farewell could yet be at the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

"It's his last ride, why not send him off the right way," said Rice, who feels that the Ravens, beaten by the New England Patriots in last year's AFC Championship game, have made a leap in quality.

"These are the games we used to lose and now we are finding ways to win them," he said.   Continued...

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (R) celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown against the Denver Broncos with teammate Torrey Smith in their NFL AFC Divisional playoff football game in Denver, Colorado January 12, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes