What had been billed as one of the least attractive matchups in the history of "Monday Night Football" actually turned into one of its most memorable and thrilling finishes. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns 33-27 by Brent Urban blocking the potential winning field goal and Hill returning it 64 yards for a touchdown as time expired.
Those across the nation who tuned in to watch two losing AFC North teams were rewarded with an unbelievable ending at 11:40 p.m. ET. How unbelievable? This was the second game in NFL history in which a team won with a "walk-off" blocked field goal return for a touchdown and the first time that has happened in three decades, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"One of the greatest football games probably you're ever going to see, in terms of excitement," coach Harbaugh said.
Will this propel the Ravens (4-7) into the playoffs? Highly unlikely. Can this help them avoid their first losing season under Harbaugh? Probably not.
But this victory, especially in this wild fashion, shows how this team has refused to give up on Harbaugh. Back in 2007, the season spiraled out of control for Baltimore, and it cost Brian Billick his job. This season, the Ravens have lost key starters to injuries (quarterback Joe Flacco, wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Terrell Suggs and running back Justin Forsett) and they've lost a game on an official's error.
Still, Baltimore has found a way to stay in every game this season, which is a testament to the effort Harbaugh demands from his players. All 11 of the Ravens' games have been decided by eight points or fewer, which extends their NFL record.
"My favorite shirt that Harbs brought out was [one that read], 'Faith and Guts,'" Hill said. "That’s all we have right now -- faith and guts -- and to continue and go out and fight and try and be the best Ravens team we can be."
This had all the makings of another gut-wrenching loss for the Ravens. Hill was beaten on third-string quarterback Austin Davis' game-tying 42-yard touchdown pass, and Matt Schaub gave the Browns a chance to win the game with an interception with 50 seconds remaining.
But Urban got his left arm on the field goal attempt in his first NFL game, and Hill scored his third career touchdown. Even on a Ravens team that had blocked a punt or kick in five straight games, many players were floored by this reversal of fortune.
"I think it would be hard-pressed to find anyone in that stadium who was not shocked at that moment," kicker Justin Tucker said. "I am kind of speechless."
This was far from a classic game. There was plenty of sloppy football, which is to be expected from two teams with the third-worst combined record (5-15) for a MNF game. There were thousands of empty seats for the journeyman quarterback battle between Schaub and Josh McCown.
But this matchup certainly delivered a classic ending. It was the sixth blocked field goal return for a touchdown in the NFL in the past five seasons and the first this season.
There was also some controversy. Replays showed Anthony Levine lining up in the neutral zone, and some believe Hill stepped out of bounds.
The lasting image for the Ravens, however, was safety Kendrick Lewis going crazy right in Harbaugh's face and yelling, "We never quit! We never quit! We're never going to quit!"
"It reminded me of Winston Churchill. Didn’t he say something along those lines?" Harbaugh said. "Just an incredible game. I’m so proud of the guys."