OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens and Vikings played one of the most memorable games in their respective histories during a snowstorm in Baltimore in 2013.
The teams scored a combined five touchdowns in the final 125 seconds of the fourth quarter before Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown on a 9-yard pass with four seconds left to give Baltimore a 29-26 victory.
"I remember [we were] in a dog fight," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Leslie Frazier was the coach; a good friend. It was a really good football game. I remember getting the lead with like two minutes left and thinking it was OK. Then, all of a sudden, the field looked like an ice rink. All of a sudden, our guys are sliding around [and] we couldn’t tackle."
Minnesota had taken the lead 19-15 on a 41-yard run by Toby Gerhart with 1:27 left in the game.
"Toby Gerhart, who played for my brother at Stanford, he hits a little draw up the middle," Harbaugh said. "I was like, ‘Ah, it’s a touchdown. They won.’ You know what I mean? They’re celebrating over there, and we have like 20 or 30 seconds left."
However, the Ravens' Jacoby Jones ran back the ensuing kickoff for 77 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.
"So, I’m on the sideline right here, and we had a play set up where we could tell when they’re going to pooch kick it to our left short," Harbaugh said. "We had a sideline return set up for Jacoby to come up and catch it short. We thought we could really hit it on them. So, it comes up, and he had to change … He had to get over there so he could catch it, bottom line. I look down there, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s there. It’s there.’ I look down there, and I see Jacoby, and he’s like in the far corner looking up in the stands. He told me later he was talking to his mom. … So, I’m like, ‘Jacoby! Jacoby! Jacoby! Jacoby!’ ... He starts running over full speed. And if you remember, running full speed, catches it on the run and houses it. ‘Ah, we won.’ "
And just as it appeared Baltimore was going to pull out an improbable victory, Minnesota quarterback Matt Cassel threw a 79-yard pass to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson with 45 seconds left to give the Vikings a 26-22 lead. The Ravens did not quit and finally sealed the win with the late score, capping the fifth touchdown in the final 2:05.
After an unsteady game, Flacco came up big in the end, just like last year's playoff game in Denver when he found Jones for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown in the final minutes to force overtime. The Ravens won that game and surged to their second Super Bowl championship.
"Next thing you know, we hit a couple passes, and then we’re in the red zone,' Harbaugh said. "There’s one play left. Joe moves around and throws it up high to Marlon, and he makes a good catch, gets his feet down in bounds, and then [I said], ‘We won!’ So, five teams won that day, but we won the last time, and that’s the one that counted the most.”
When asked whether he just watched the highlights, Harbaugh replied: “It’s ingrained. It’s ingrained in my mind, man.”