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Ravens fall short against Bills to end season


The Baltimore Ravens faced off against the Buffalo Bills last Saturday in an intense battle of dynamic offenses and lockdown defenses. The winner of this AFC Divisional showdown would move on to the AFC Championship game on Jan. 24. This game featured heavy expectations, especially among star QBs Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen, and ended in Buffalo’s favor with a 17-3 win against Baltimore. 

The first quarter got off to a wild start when kicker Justin Tucker missed a 41-yard field goal as the wind gusted his kick wide. The next few drives featured surprisingly stale offense considering the regular season success of both teams. Buffalo put themselves on the board first with a 28-yard field goal from Tyler Bass. Baltimore could not generate any offense as they went scoreless in the first.

Buffalo started the second quarter with similar kicking troubles as Bass missed a 43-yard field goal himself. Then, Tucker failed yet again on a 46-yard field goal to the shock of fans at home and in the stadium. Another lull in both Baltimore’s and Buffalo’s attacks put this game at a gridlock throughout the quarter. The Ravens managed to recover slightly from their slow start with a 34-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 entering the half. Neither the Bills’ passing prowess nor the Ravens’ dynamic run game could muster much in the first half. 

The second half featured a dominance from Buffalo and some misfortunes on the Ravens end. Allen led the Bills to a touchdown on the first drive of the half with a 3-yard pass to WR Stefon Diggs. Looking to recover, Jackson marched the Ravens all the way to the BUF 9. However, a crucial mistake on a pass resulted in an interception and a shocking 101-yard touchdown return to widen the lead to 17-3. Just before the third ended, Jackson suffered a devastating injury that knocked him out of the game. With just one quarter left, the game and the Ravens’ season were on the line as hopes began to fade for Baltimore.

Backup QB Tyler Huntley attempted to salvage the Ravens season down 14 against a tough Bills team. A failed drive to begin the fourth put them in an even deeper hole as time began to tick. A daring 4th and 8 with just six minutes left fell short as the Bills got a chance to close the game with another score. However, another shocking missed field goal from Bass with over five minutes left gave Baltimore fans some hope. A miracle needed to occur for a backup QB to lead a 14-point comeback to win, but the fans’ hopes were not answered. The Ravens managed a successful drive all the way to the BUF 10 but failed to convert on a 4th and 10, putting the game just out of reach. Running down the game clock, the Bills secured their victory and trip to the AFC Championship for a chance at a Super Bowl appearance.

This loss ends a Baltimore season that featured twists and turns with several ups and downs. The Ravens proved to fans and teams that their solid core will make them a threat for the coming years. Despite the injury and disappointing finish,  Jackson will have a chance to win for years to come in his young career. With the star QB in a Ravens uniform, Baltimore will see many opportunities to bring the Lombardi trophy home to the city again.

Featured Image courtesy of Hefeking via Flickr Creative Commons

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Ravens fall short against Bills to end season