Those who turned off Sunday’s Vikings-Ravens game after the Vikings scored their early-4th quarter TD to go up 27-10 came away from the game with the impression that the Vikings dominated Baltimore, a team that appeared in the AFC title game last year and is chalk-full of defensive all-stars and productive offensive standouts.
At that point in the game, the Vikings held a 17-point lead and had allowed just 45 yards rushing on 16 carries and only 189 yards passing to QB Joe Flacco.
But as those who didn’t turn the game off after that early-4th quarter TD witnessed, the Ravens would not go away easily. They stormed back and eventually took a 31-30 lead with just 3:37 to play after scoring 21 points in a matter of minutes.
So how did it happen? Put simply, it happened through the air. Although Baltimore’s go-ahead TD was a 33-yard rush by RB Ray Rice, it was Flacco and his bevy of receivers who led the furious 4th quarter comeback.
Flacco completed 10 of 16 passes for 196 yards and 2 scores in the final stanza, taking advantage of a Vikings defense that was without starting CB Antoine Winfield and was using reserve S Husain Abdullah because nickel CB Benny Sapp was dealing with an injury, too.
With the injury to Sapp, 2009 free agent signee Karl Paymah played in Winfield’s stead and the Ravens took advantage of that matchup. Although Paymah seemed to be in good position on several instances, Childress acknowledged on Monday that Baltimore “made some plays” on Paymah.
Aside from some of the injuries the Vikings experienced, Childress also cited a couple of other reasons for the Raven’s passing-game success in the 4th quarter.
“Missed tackles will kill you, particularly in air and space,” Childress said. “A guy like Ray Rice that is able elude and bounce off and keep his pads down low. In a couple of instances we had missed assignments where A) a guy not doing what he should do, or B) a miscommunication where everybody’s doing one thing and somebody else is doing another thing.
“You can’t stop every play. Every defense has a strength and weakness. And it’s just more important for our guys to understand where the strength is and where the weakness is and play to it.”
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