- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2003

BALTIMORE — There was nothing in Anthony Wright’s past to suggest he would be the architect of the greatest comeback in the history of the Baltimore Ravens.

Matt Stover kicked a 42-yard field goal with 6:32 left in overtime yesterday, capping an amazing rally that carried the Ravens past the Seattle Seahawks 44-41.

Making his seventh NFL start — the second with the Ravens after being elevated from third string — Wright helped Baltimore score 10 points in the final 72 seconds of regulation to force overtime.

He then directed a 55-yard drive in the extra period, connecting with Marcus Robinson for 19 yards on a third-and-15 play to set up Stover for the winner.

The frenzied finish seemed out of the question when Baltimore (6-5) fell behind 41-24 with 14:16 remaining, but Wright and the Ravens never gave up hope.

“It was looking very, very dim. But we just let it all hang out,” said Wright, 2-5 as an NFL starter. “Everything came together. It’s unbelievable for us to be down as much as we were and to come back.”

It took the finest performance of Wright’s career to enable Baltimore to snap a two-game skid. He went 20-for-37 for 319 yards and a personal-best four touchdowns — all of them to Robinson.

After delivering the improbable victory, Wright headed to the hospital for a delivery of a different kind: His wife was anticipating giving birth to the couple’s second child last night.

“She’s waiting for me right now,” Wright said.

The Ravens’ previous biggest comeback was a 16-point turnaround against Jacksonville in 2000.

Matt Hasselbeck threw a career-high five touchdown passes for the Seahawks, going 23-for-41 for 333 yards. But he failed on a fourth-down quarterback sneak late in regulation, allowing the Ravens to get the ball one more time with the score 41-38.

“We just needed one more play,” Hasselbeck said. “One more play and we could have won the game. We should have won the game, and we just didn’t make it.”

Darrell Jackson had seven receptions for 146 yards and two scores, and Bobby Engram also had two touchdown catches. But the Seahawks (7-4) fell to 1-4 on the road, in part because they made too many mistakes down the stretch.

“We let them back in the football game,” Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. “It was just a bizarre, bizarre ending.”

The Ravens got back into the game by taking advantage of the same kind of miscues that put them in a sizable hole.

First, Ed Reed blocked a punt and took it 16 yards into the end zone. Then the Seahawks played soft defense in allowing the Ravens to march 71 yards in a drive capped by Wright’s fourth touchdown pass with 1:12 remaining.

Seattle recovered the onside kick, but Hasselbeck failed to convert the pivotal fourth-and-1. In an effort to beef up the defensive line, the Ravens placed 350-pound offensive tackle Orlando Brown at nose tackle.

“I probably could have attacked it more, gone a little bit lower,” Hasselbeck said. “I was just trying to hold on to the ball. I didn’t have a real good handle on the ball.”

The Ravens then used a 44-yard pass-interference call against Marcus Trufant to set up a 40-yard field goal by Stover on the final play of regulation.

No one could have anticipated such a wild shootout during a lackluster first half in which the teams combined for two field goals over the first 29 minutes.

That’s when things got crazy: The Seahawks scored two touchdowns in 22 seconds in the final minute of the first half to go up 17-3.

Baltimore closed to 17-10 on its first possession of the second half. After Travis Taylor made a nice one-handed catch on a 43-yard play, Wright connected with Robinson for a 13-yard touchdown strike.

Hasselbeck then hit Koren Robinson in stride down the middle with a 38-yard touchdown pass.

A 24-yard punt by Dave Zastudil set up a Seattle field goal and, after Wright hit Robinson for a score, Hasselbeck answered with an 80-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Jackson for a 34-17 lead.

Hasselbeck’s fifth touchdown pass, a 5-yarder to Engram with 14:16 left, made it 41-24.

The rest of the game was all Baltimore.

Notes — Ravens defensive end Anthony Weaver aggravated a shoulder injury on the first series and did not return. … Baltimore’s Jamal Lewis ran for 117 yards and had 43 yards receiving. … Hasselbeck hurt his shoulder in overtime, giving way for two plays to Trent Dilfer, playing football in Baltimore for the first time since leading the Ravens to victory in the 2001 Super Bowl.

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