For the third time in the last five seasons, the Baltimore Ravens have reached the AFC Championship Game after rookie Justin Tucker’s 47-yard field goal gave the underdog Ravens a 38-35 double overtime win over the No. 1-seed Denver Broncos in Saturday’s divisional playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Tucker’s field goal came after Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning made a rare and costly mistake, throwing late over the middle in an attempt to squeeze the ball in to slot receiver Brandon Stokley. The throw was intercepted by Ravens cornerback Corey Graham, his second interception of the game, at the Broncos’ 45-yard line. ” He was trying to make a play . I think there were a lot of different plays that were costly,” Broncos head coach John Fox said of Manning’s interception. Manning’s interception will certainly be scrutinized, and deservedly so, but the case could be made that the game never should have reached overtime. The Broncos led 35-28 at the two-minute warning. Facing a 3rd-and-7 play, Fox elected to hand the ball off to rookie Ronnie Hillman over allowing Manning, a legitimate MVP candidate, to throw the ball for a first down that would have sealed the win and another home game for the Broncos. The Ravens defense stopped Hillman short of the first-down marker and the Broncos were forced to give the ball back to Baltimore with just over a minute remaining. A few plays into their next possession, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco heaved the ball towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who was allowed to drift behind Broncos safety Rahim Moore, who made a flailing attempt to intercept the ball, only to have it land in Jones’ hands for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown with 38 seconds remaining. Even with 30 seconds remaining on the clock, and two timeouts in their back pocket, Fox again took a conservative approach, having Manning take a knee and play for overtime.
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