Had the infraction been 10 more yards, kicker Matt Stover would have paid more attention to it.
But Terry Jones' 5-yard illegal-formation penalty, which pushed Stover's potential game-tying field goal from 35 to 40 yards at the end of regulation, meant little to him before the kick and proved no factor as the ball sailed through the uprights in the Ravens' 44-41 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Stover's field goal with no time left sent the game into overtime, where he then nailed a 42-yarder to win the game on the Ravens' only possession of the extra period.
"It didn't matter to me, because it wasn't going from 48 to 53," Stover said. "The penalty right before it, as long as it's not 15 yards, I'm fine. It was just get out there and kick the ball like normal. The wind was actually going that way a little bit."
For Stover, the overtime kick was his 15th consecutive successful field-goal attempt. It was also the first time this season Stover has made a game-winning field goal in overtime.
"I thrive on that," Stover said. "I have to prepare myself every week for the game-winning kick. Today was the game-tying and game-winning, two in one. You have to know that when that comes, you have to want that kick."
Reed uses extra burst
Ed Reed had come close to blocking punts by the Seahawks' Tom Rouen twice during the first three quarters.
But there was something missing until he finally got to Rouen with slightly less than seven minutes left in the game, taking the ball off Rouen's foot, then picking it up and running 16 yards for a touchdown.
Reed's play closed the Seahawks' lead to 41-31 and swung the momentum of the game in the Ravens' favor.
"I had that extra little burst," said Reed, who has four career blocked punts, three of which have been returned for touchdowns. "I don't know where it came from. Actually I do know where it came from because prayer is powerful. But to get the block to change the game, and for the offense to score the points they did, it's hats off to all of us."
C. Taylor's forgettable day
While a number of offensive players had career days, it was a personal performance worth forgetting for backup running back Chester Taylor.
Taylor was hit with personal foul and offensive holding penalties in the third quarter, and fumbled on the Ravens' final snap of the first half, a play designed to run out the last 23 seconds.
Cornerback Ken Lucas recovered the ball at the Ravens' 34 and returned it 24 yards to set up one final play for Seattle with eight seconds left. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck found Bobby Engram in the end zone near the sideline for a touchdown.
"I should have squeezed the ball harder," Taylor said. "I made a mistake at a crucial time and have to deal with it. Luckily, we played as a team and pulled out the win. It hurt us but not as bad as it could have."
O. Brown plugs the middle
Orlando Brown helped make one of the biggest plays of the game, but for the Ravens' right offensive tackle, it came on the other side of the ball.
Brown was lined up at nose tackle on the Seahawks' failed quarterback sneak on fourth-and-one at the Ravens' 33 with 44 seconds left in the game.
Hasselbeck got no push attacking the middle of the Ravens' defensive line on a play that would have clinched the victory for Seattle had he converted.
"We were on goal line [defense], and I didn't think they were going to be dumb enough to do a quarterback sneak," said Brown, who missed nearly the entire second half and overtime with a thigh contusion. "I'm a big dude, like 370 pounds. That is a lot of weight to move."
Back to work today
If ever the Ravens needed an extra day to celebrate, it would seem to be after the wild win, but the players have to report to the training facility today.
"Normally we have Monday off, but we're starting over," coach Brian Billick said. "We're coming and we are starting early."
Billick, meanwhile, did not have much to say at his post-game news conference, which lasted less than five minutes. He did, however, deliver a one-liner directed at the fans who left the stadium when the Ravens appeared out of it early in the fourth quarter.
"It ought to be easier for me to get home now. You missed something," Billick said.
Parker, J. Johnson fill in
The Ravens were forced to look to their sideline for help when second-year defensive end Tony Weaver aggravated a shoulder injury on the game's first possession and was unable to go the rest of the way.
Rookie Jarret Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick out of Alabama, and Riddick Parker, a seven-year veteran whom the Ravens re-signed last week, were part of the rotation that filled in for Weaver.
Sanders on the spot
There were several huge plays in the RavensM-v 17-point comeback, so it would be easy to overlook Frank SandersM-v 44-yard catch with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Ravens trailing 41-31.