Jaguars
Ravens
7 - 27 Final
  for this game

Ravens blast Jaguars, clinch AFC wild card

Dec 29, 2008 - 2:21 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- The Baltimore Ravens are headed to Miami for a playoff game.

The Ravens completed a most unlikely turnaround Sunday, officially qualifying for the final AFC wild-card spot with a 27-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In coach John Harbaugh's first season as the Ravens' coach, he took a team that had been 5-11 last season under Brian Billick and engineered a remarkable six-game improvement.

It is the fifth time Baltimore has qualified for the playoffs, the fourth as a wild card. In 2000, they won the Super Bowl as a wild card.

The Ravens face the AFC East champion Miami Dolphins (11-5) in the wild card round next Sunday.

"It means we have a chance to keep playing," Harbaugh said. "We'll have an opportunity to be in the tournament, and we'll have an opportunity to prove if we're the best team in the NFL."

Sunday's game showed some of the reasons the Ravens (11-5) rebounded so quickly.

Joe Flacco completed a stellar rookie season by throwing for 297 yards, completing 17-of-23 passes. He completed 14-of-17 for 246 yards in the first half, when the Ravens took a 24-7 lead.

"Before we knew it, we looked up and we were up 24-7," Flacco said. "We had to win to get into the postseason, and we did that."

Harbaugh summarized his team's turnaround by naming several key performers, both on and off the field.

"I wouldn't even know where to start on that," Harbaugh said. "Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, the offensive line, Derrick Mason. Where do we stop?"

Reed, whose season was thought to be in jeopardy during the preseason, was a star defensively all season. He had two interceptions on Sunday and nine during the season, including an NFL record 107-yard dash.

"That's what you play the season for - to try and get into the postseason," Reed said.

As Reed spoke, he glanced up at a television monitor to see the Dolphins celebrating their win over the New York Jets.

"They're a different team right now. We're a totally different team," he said.

Lewis, whose contract expires after this season, is looking forward to being back with the Ravens.

"I don't care what the record was," Lewis said. "The regular season means nothing. You either win or go home. When you get in the playoffs, you understand that, and you don't worry about records."

Le'Ron McClain, another unlikely hero this season, was Baltimore's leading rusher - all season and Sunday. He ran for two touchdowns in the second quarter. Willis McGahee ran for another second-quarter touchdown for Baltimore, which beat the Dolphins in Miami, 27-13, on October 19.

"They're hot," McClain said. "We came down there and beat them before. Why not again?"

Flacco threw a 48-yard pass to Mark Clayton that set up McClain's second score and a 39-yarder to Mason on the drive that McGahee scored.

"I'll guarantee they're a much better team than they were earlier this season, much better," Mason said. "They were a hard team the first time."

Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who has been with the Ravens for each of their playoff appearances, wasn't surprised by the turnaround.

"I expected it," Ryan said. "We can do a lot of damage in the postseason."

In the third quarter, the Ravens, who have specialized in the unusual this season, pulled out yet another inventive play.

Second-year backup quarterback Troy Smith lined up behind center, took a hand-off and pitched it to Flacco, who was lined up wide. Flacco threw it back to Smith, who ran 36 yards to set up Matt Stover's second field goal of the game.

The Jaguars (5-11) completed a most disappointing season, losing six of their last seven games a year after making the playoffs and winning a postseason game in Pittsburgh.

"We finished up a long, though year," coach Jack Del Rio said. "It's not all bad, but it's not good enough to feel good about."

The Jaguars took a 7-3 lead on a 23-yard pass from David Garrard to Alvin Pearman late in the first quarter. Garrard finished 14-of-25 for 127 yards and two interceptions.

"We're all going to have to go back and learn from this season," Garrard said. "We are all disappointed. We know that for sure."






  • 20
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 27  FinalDec 29 5:17 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 0 0 0 7
    BALTIMORE 3 21 3 0 27 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 32 YD, 5:35. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:35. Key plays:
    McClain 2-yard run on 3rd-and-1 to
    Baltimore 32; Flacco 48-yard pass
    to Clayton to Jacksonville 20.
    BALTIMORE

    Dec 28 7:04 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 0 0 7
    BALTIMORE 3 21 3 27 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 32 YD, 5:35. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:35. Key plays:
    McClain 2-yard run on 3rd-and-1 to
    Baltimore 32; Flacco 48-yard pass
    to Clayton to Jacksonville 20.
    BA

    Dec 28 6:22 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 41 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    BALTIMORE 27 3:26 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 27  3rd - 3:26Dec 28 6:12 PM
  • 15
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 24  HalfDec 28 5:48 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 0 7
    BALTIMORE 3 21 24 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 32 YD, 5:35. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:35. Key plays:
    McClain 2-yard run on 3rd-and-1 to
    Baltimore 32; Flacco 48-yard pass
    to Clayton to Jacksonville 20.
    BALTIM

    Dec 28 5:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    JAMEEL MCCLAIN 1 YD RUN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    BALTIMORE 24 0:44 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 24  2nd - 0:44Dec 28 5:34 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    WILLIS MCGAHEE 13 YD RUN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    BALTIMORE 17 4:52 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 17  2nd - 4:52Dec 28 5:19 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    LE'RON MCCLAIN 5 YD RUN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    BALTIMORE 10 10:58 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 10  2nd - 10:58Dec 28 5:03 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 7 7
    BALTIMORE 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 32 YD, 5:35. Drive: 10
    plays, 65 yards in 5:35. Key plays:
    McClain 2-yard run on 3rd-and-1 to
    Baltimore 32; Flacco 48-yard pass
    to Clayton to Jacksonville 20.
    BA

    Dec 28 4:53 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    ALVIN PEARMAN 23 YD PASS FROM DAVID GARRARD
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    BALTIMORE 3 0:48 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jaguars 7, Ravens 3  1st - 0:48Dec 28 4:50 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 32 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 0
    BALTIMORE 3 9:25 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jaguars 0, Ravens 3  1st - 9:25Dec 28 4:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    thefanblog Added 5 roots

    Jaguars vs. RavensDec 28 10:39 AM