All week the Baltimore Ravens blog will look at the five plays that ruined the team's season. This is obviously subjective, and I went with the ones that stood out to me. Feel free to chime in to tell me if I'm right, wrong or simply crazy.
Let's start the countdown with the No. 5 play:
WHEN: Nov. 3, 2013
WHERE: A 24-18 loss in Cleveland
THE PLAY: Browns wide receiver Davone Bess makes a 3-yard catch on fourth down in the fourth quarter.
WHAT THEY SAID: Browns quarterback Jason Campbell: “It was a huge play, probably the biggest of the game. It was a play we were trying to hit the running back. I’m not even sure I called the right play.”
WHY IT RUINED THE RAVENS' SEASON: There were other more memorable plays, like Lardarius Webb getting faked out badly on Bess' 20-yard touchdown and no one covering blocking tight end Gary Barnidge on a 4-yard score. But Bess' fourth-down conversion was the most critical completion against the Ravens all game.
The Ravens had just closed to within 21-18 with 12:09 left in the game, when Joe Flacco threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown. The Browns finished off the Ravens with a 15-play, 67-yard series that was kept alive by Bess' diving catch on fourth-and-1 from the Ravens' 43-yard line. If the Ravens had stopped the Browns, Flacco and the offense would've taken over near midfield, needing only a field goal to tie the game. Instead, former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff capped the 6 1/2-minute drive with a 22-yard field goal with 14 seconds left.
Of all of the Ravens' losses, this one has to bother the team the most in retrospect. Not only did it come against the last-place Browns, but this was the only time Cleveland won in the final 11 games of the season.