GREEN BAY, Wis. — The way the Baltimore Ravens‘ defense and special teams were playing, they needed just one play from their struggling offense to help save their season and stay in the AFC playoff race.
The Ravens just didn’t know it would come in the form of one of the most incredible catches in team history.
Pushing through press coverage, Wallace went up for the ball, but his right arm was around cornerback Damarious Randall. So, he just caught the ball by cradling the third-down pass in his left arm as he fell into the end zone.
It’s that type of won’t-be-denied play that has been missing from an offense that has consistently struggled to get into the end zone. There have been too many times this season when a Ravens receiver hasn’t attacked the ball or has let a pass bounce off his hands.
Wallace punctuated the Ravens’ first win at Lambeau Field with a Lambeau leap. It represented the highlight of the year for the NFL’s worst passing attack.
Wallace’s touchdown put the Ravens ahead 13-0, which seemed like an insurmountable lead with how Baltimore’s defense and special teams were playing.
The Ravens, who recorded their third shutout of the season, evened their record at 5-5. They are in prime position for a wild-card berth with six weeks remaining.
The Ravens forced five turnovers and delivered six sacks. Their special teams delivered two long returns — a 28-yarder from Michael Campanaro and 35 yards on a kickoff by Chris Moore — both of which jump-started scoring drives.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco insisted during the bye week that the offense had to be more aggressive. “We need to go after it,” Flacco said last week.
Deep passes have been the barometer of Baltimore’s success this season. In the five losses, Flacco has yet to complete a pass on a throw of 20 yards or longer downfield. In the five wins, he has connected on six of them, including the strike to Wallace.
Flacco’s decision-making has rightfully been criticized. But his fearlessness has been impressive.
He was picked off in the second quarter when he forced a throw to a covered Danny Woodhead at the Packers’ 2-yard line. One quarter later — after the Ravens completed their sixth first half without an offensive touchdown this season — Flacco again threw a pass to a receiver who wasn’t open, but Wallace made his miraculous catch.
The Ravens need more of plays similar to Wallace’s if they want to make a serious run. On Sunday, against an overmatched Brett Hundley, one big play from the offense was enough.