Fourth-quarter drives sink Ravens defense

Fourth-quarter drives sink Ravens defense
October 13, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Ravens struggle to establish running game vs. Packers

If you take a quick look at the box score from Green Bay's 19-17 victory over the Ravens Sunday, it shows that the Packers scored only three points. Not a big deal, right? 

But there's a story behind the story, and even though the Ravens held the Packers to that one field goal, Green Bay put together two long drives that proved crucial to its victory at M&T Bank Stadium. 

Time of possession proved to be the bigger story in the fourth quarter. The Ravens often played well on defense Sunday. They gave up a few big plays to quarterback Aaron Rodgers (17-for-32, 315 yards, one touchdown) and Eddie Lacy (120 yards rushing) but usually kept the Green Bay offense under control. 

The fourth quarter, though, belonged to the Green Bay offense. They had possession for 9 minutes, 39 seconds of that period despite scoring just the three points. 

The Packers' first drive was for that field goal, but it was 12 plays for 72 yards and let to a Mason Crosby 31-yard field goal and a 19-10 lead with 4:17 left. They made two key third-down conversions in a drive that ate up 7:35 of the period and gave them that nine-point lead. 

"When you play a game, long drives happen, whether [in] the first part of the game or the fourth quarter," Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith said. "Every time we go out there, we've got to go out there and play ball and be ready to give our offense back the ball, create a turnover [or] do something. We've just got to do a better job in our end."

After the Ravens scored a touchdown that cut the lead to two with 2:04 left, they still had a shot. The Ravens had all three time-outs left plus the two-minute warning. But the Packers made two first downs, including a 52-yard pass from Rodgers to Jermichael Finley that helped Green Bay simply run out the clock. That drive went for eight plays and 69 yards, giving the Packers 141 yards in the fourth quarter alone. 

"We knew he was capable of making a play like that," linebacker Terrell Suggs said of Rodgers. "We just have to be better there. It's not just one player. It's the whole 11."