Ravens 2012 Awards: Play of the Year

Ravens 2012 Awards: Play of the Year
February 8, 2013, 1:15 pm
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The Ravens' remarkable run is over, the parade route is finally cleared out, and the Lombardi Trophy is safely locked up at the Ravens' Under Armour Performance Center, with the players fingerprints all over it -- remember, they would not touch or even look at it before the Super Bowl on Ray Lewis' orders.

So with the Super Bowl hoopla finally subsiding, we are handing out our 2012 Ravens end-of-season awards.

Previously, we had the Coaching Move of the Year, the Offseason Signing of the Year and the Underrated Player of the Year

Now, it's time for the Play of the Year:

There's the Immaculate Reception. The Hail Mary. The Music City Miracle. Let's face it, if a play earns a name, it has to be good, like remember-it-forever good. The Ravens had two of those plays this year.

First there was Hey-Diddle-Diddle, Ray Rice Up the Middle, the improbable fourth-and-29 conversion at San Diego. Rice took a dumpoff pass from Joe Flacco in the closing minutes, and somehow slashed, cut, and outran the purusing Chargers for about 29 yards and 6 inches. The play led to a game-tying field-goal by Justin Tucker as time expired, and the Ravens won in overtime on another field goal by Tucker.

NFL Network named it the Play of the Year, but it turns out that Ravens authored an even more stunning, more improbable play in the playoffs: The 70-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Jacoby Jones in the closing seconds of the Divisional Round game at Denver.

Both plays will be talked about for years; Jones' earns the nod here for the sheer gravity of the moment. If that play doesn't happen -- and 999 times out of 1,000, it doesn't happen -- the Ravens' season is over.

They had 70 yards to cover and no timeouts left, trailing Denver, 35-28, in the final minute, when Flacco stepped up in the pocket and uncorked a throw toward Jones, who was streaking down the right sideline. Denver safety Rahim Moore, whose singular job would seem to have been to keep Jones in front of him, badly underestimated the throw, which traveled about 55 yards in the air. Moore backpedaled and leaped for the ball, but it cleared his hand by inches and dropped into the waiting arms of Jones, who waltzed in for the game-tying score as a stunned Broncos crowd fell silent.
"I started to step up in the pocket and kept my eye on the safeties' depth at that point," Flacco said after the game. "I just felt like I had a shot at maybe getting it over 'em. "At that point in the game, you don't have any timeouts, you need to go some length, you gotta start taking shots at some point and it happened to work out."

Some have called it the Mile High Miracle. Some have called it the Prayer In Thin Air. In any case, given that the Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl title, it's possibly the biggest play in team history.

It kept the Ravens' season alive, and was the surest sign that something magical was brewing on Ray Lewis' last ride.

Up Next: Game of the Year