Of all the unbelievable numbers put up by Brett Favre, the one that should draw the most interest from the Ravens is this: The Minnesota Vikings' quarterback has led 43 come-from-behind, game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.
That's a telling statistic for the Ravens, who have lost two straight weeks because they have failed to come through in the final minutes of games.
Close games have become a sore spot for the Ravens under coach John Harbaugh. Since the start of the 2008 season, the Ravens are 2-5 (including playoffs) in games decided by six points or fewer.
Most of the struggles in tight games have been the result of late lapses on defense and controversies surrounding officials.
In October 2008, the Ravens lost to the Tennessee Titans, 13-10, when Kerry Collins threw the game-winning, 11-yard touchdown pass to Alge Crumpler with 1:56 left in the game. The drive was helped by a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty on Terrell Suggs eight plays before the go-ahead touchdown.
In December 2008, the Ravens lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 13-9, watching their division rival win the AFC North on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds remaining in the game. It was debated whether the ball broke the goal line, but the Ravens nevertheless allowed the Steelers to drive 92 yards.
Then, last Sunday, the Ravens fell out of first place in the AFC North with a 17-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Carson Palmer threw a 20-yard pass to Andre Caldwell to win the game with 22 seconds left, but fans are still upset at three defensive penalties on that drive.
As a result, five of Harbaugh's seven regular-season losses as Ravens coach have been decided by less than a touchdown. And close defeats this season have proved to be the difference between an undefeated season and a two-game losing streak.
"The bottom line is this: We make a couple plays we didn't make and we're 5-0. We don't make a couple plays in one other game and we're 2-3," he said. "That's the nature of the NFL. If we want to be in the hunt, we've got to win games like this."
How the Ravens have fared in regular-season games decided by six points or fewer:
Year Record Pct.
2005 2-4 .333
2006 4-2 .667
2007 3-4 .428
2008 0-3 .000
2009 1-2 .333