Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Tucker's 46-yard field goal, coming with 5:27 remaining in overtime, helped the Baltimore Ravens overcome a late-game defensive gaffe and top the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-17, in an AFC North clash.
Tucker's heroics wouldn't have been necessary if it hadn't been for a fluke play which sent the game into the extra session.
Facing a 4th-and-15 from his own 49-yard-line with two seconds left in regulation, Andy Dalton's heave to the end zone was deflected twice -- the last time by James Ihedigbo, who posted a pair of interceptions -- right into the hands of A.J. Green for the tying score as time expired.
"It was pure luck. It just fell into my hands," said Green. "I saw two guys jump. It was kind of underthrown and I was running past the ball because I had my head down digging."
But the Ravens defense stopped the Bengals on their first drive of OT, bringing down Giovani Bernard for an 11-yard loss on 4th-and-2 pass play from the Baltimore 33. Tucker's boot from the right hashmark eight plays later sent the hosts to victory.
"It was a team victory in so many ways. I felt like they showed the heart of a champion in many ways," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
Joe Flacco was 20-of-36 for a pair of touchdowns and as many interceptions for the Ravens (4-5), who crept within a game and a half of first-place Cincinnati.
Torrey Smith registered 46 yards and a TD catch on five receptions. Ray Rice added 30 rushing yards and 26 receiving yards, as Baltimore stopped a three- game skid.
Dalton was held to just 24 completions on 51 passes for 274 yards, one more touchdown and three picks for the Bengals (6-4), losers in two straight after winning four in a row.
Green finished with a game-best 151 yards on eight grabs, while Bernard ended with 58 yards on 14 carries.
After Dalton was stuffed on a 4th-and-1 from the Ravens' 47, Baltimore took over and picked up the game's first score on its second touch. Dallas Clark caught a 1-yard pass from Flacco on a rollout three plays after a defensive pass interference call moved the ball to the Bengals' 5-yard line.
The Ravens then went up 10-0, after Tucker buried a 36-yard attempt to cap the hosts' next drive.
Cincinnati finally got into enemy territory late in the quarter, but the wind helped push a 42-yard try from Mike Nugent wide of the left upright early in the second.
Midway through the period, Dalton was picked off by Ihedigbo, who returned it 37 yards to the Bengals' 22. A personal foul call pushed the ball half the distance to the goal line, and two plays later, Flacco hit a leaping Smith in the end zone for a 7-yard score and 17-0 advantage.
Nugent capped the Bengals' first touch of the second half with a 32-yard field goal, but the visitors didn't get on track again until Bernard's 18-yard catch-and-run to the end zone pulled Cincinnati to 17-10 with 8:22 left in regulation.
Two plays after a deep ball from Flacco was just out of Smith's reach in the end zone, Flacco was sacked near midfield, lost the football, and James Harrison recovered for Cincinnati at the 50.
The Bengals moved 13 yards in four plays, but on the last down before the two- minute warning, Dalton's pass, intended for Green, was tipped and fell into the hands of Ihedigbo at his own 12, and he ran nine more yards.
Baltimore failed to pick up a first down on the ensuing series, and following a punt, the visitors took over on their own 40 with 1:28 on the clock. Dalton was sacked on 2nd-and-8 from the Ravens' 44, and he was only able to get up and spike the ball with two seconds to play.
The miracle game-tying TD pass to Green followed.
The Ravens were outgained by a 364-189 margin ... Baltimore has won four in a row at home vs. Cincinnati and 13 of 18 since moving from Cleveland in 1996 ... Sunday's game was the first between the clubs to be decided in overtime ... The Bengals racked up 134 yards in penalties on nine infractions ... Neither team fared well in third-down situations, with the Ravens converting on 5-of-19 and the Bengals 3-of-16 ... Both Flacco and Dalton were the victims of five sacks.