With Baltimore down 17 points only five minutes into the Fourth quarter it looked as if the Ravens were destined to travel home at .500 to answer another week of questions about the sputtering offense.
But, Joe Flacco (28 of 43 for 385 yds. 2 TD)who had been dodging Viking defenders all day stepped up and threw two touchdowns and led drives that took 56 seconds to take a 31-30 lead with 3:37 to play.
Minnesota responded as Bret Favre hit a 58 yard completion to Sidney Rice that led to Ryan Longwell’s fourth field goal of the day that put the Vikings back on top 33-31.
But on Baltimore’s final drive Steve Hauschka pushed his 44 yard field goal attempt wide left with no time remaining that allowed Minnesota to remain unbeaten with no time left.
Many claimed that this game would be the first true test for the NFC North leading Vikings and they wasted no time establishing themselves as they were up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter on two Bret Favre touchdowns, one to Morgan State alum, Visanthe Shiancoe and the other to Bernard Berrian.
The Ravens offense stumbled early in the first half and had to punt on their first five possession and could only muster a Hauschka field goal from 29 yards out to get on the board before intermission.
In the third quarter it took a jump start from Ray Rice (10 for 77, 2 TD) as he stiff armed several Viking defenders to hit pay dirt from 22 yards out to cut the lead to 17-10.
But the Baltimore defense couldn’t hold as the Vikings tacked on another Longwell field goal and another Favre TD to Shiancoe, his second of the game to push the advantage to 27-10.
From there Flacco went to work trying to outdo the future Hall of Famer, he hit Mark Clayton in a 32 yard touchdown toss, hit Derrick Mason on a 12 yard screen with a solid block from Demetrius Williams for his second touchdown of the game and finally a draw to Ray Rice who scampered 33 yards untouched to take the lead.
The loss is now Baltimore’s third in a row as they drop to (3-3) and are now a game behind AFC North co-leaders the Bengals and Steelers who are both (4-2). The Ravens are on Bye next week and will host the Denver Broncos in Week Eight.