(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
RAVENS – 31
COWBOYS - 29
The Baltimore Ravens kept their perfect record against the Dallas Cowboys going on Sunday afternoon, but it certainly was costly. In a contest that wasn’t decided until the final whistle, Baltimore saw Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb, Ray Lewis, and Jimmy Smith all get bit by the injury bug. Webb tore the ACL in his left leg (tore his right ACL in 09), Ngata sprained his MCL, Lewis fell down to a triceps injury and will have an MRI today, and Smith sustained a lower leg strain. For a team that has been struggling on defense, injuries to 4 key defensive players is the last thing Baltimore needs. Ravens fans, with our best corner lost for the season, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Ngata, Lewis, and Smith all return sooner rather than later.
Sunday’s matchup against the Cowboys improved the Ravens to 5-1 and extended their AFC North lead to two games over the Bengals. At a time when injuries are starting to hit a little harder, a two game division lead is much needed. Let’s check out what the Ravens did to win the game.
What the Ravens did to do to win the game
Jacoby Jones was responsible for the biggest play of the game Sunday and it resulted in an NFL record. In the third quarter of the game, Jones took a kickoff from deep in the end zone and gave the Ravens a 24-13 lead with his record tying 108 yard kickoff return. Aside from that, the Ravens didn’t do a lot to win themselves Sunday’s contest versus the Cowboys. If you looked at the stats from the game you would have thought the Cowboys were the winners. Dallas controlled the clock in dominating fashion which saw a discrepancy of 40 minutes to 30 minutes in the Cowboys favor. Dallas also out gained the Ravens in total yardage 481 to 316. Luckily for Baltimore, timely penalties cost the Cowboys on a couple drives and kept points off the board. Also in the last minute of the game, Dez Bryant saw a pass fly threw his hands on a 2-point conversion which would have tied the game at 31. Following their successful on-side kick attempt, Dallas’ kicker Dan Bailey missed a potential game winning 51 yarder. But a win is a win, and when the Ravens woke up this morning they were still 5-1, not 4-2.
Ray Rice wasn’t able to garner his third 100 yard rushing game of the year but he did find the end zone twice, both one yard runs. Flacco, along with the rest of the Ravens offense, played fairly mistake free football. They didn’t turn the ball over once and that helped secure a victory over the Cowboys.
The match-up I noted would be an interesting one to watch coming into Sunday was DeMarco Murray vs the Ravens front seven. Boy was this a blowout. Murray made the most of his 14 carries en route to his 93 yards before he left the game with an injury. The Cowboy’s other rushers ran the ball in dominating fashion as well. Felix Jones ran for 92 yards and a score aiding in the 227 yards rushing that the Cowboys gathered as a team.
This was the most rushing yards ever allowed in Ravens franchise history, but somehow the Black and Purple emerged with a victory.
This week I predicted the Ravens winning by a score of 31-21. The final score was very close to my prediction with the actual score being 31-29. The Cowboys looked much sharper than their previous outing just as I suspected, but the Ravens were able to keep their home winning streak intact and pushed it to 14 straight regular season home victories.
Next week the Ravens travel to Houston to play a Texans team coming off their first loss of the season. In a battle that will decide who sits alone atop the AFC standings, let’s hope our injured players make their way back to the field.