SAN DIEGO -- All the San Diego Chargers had to do was stop Baltimore on fourth-and-29 from the Ravens' 37-yard line with 1:37 left, run out the clock and they'd secure their first win against a team with a winning record this season.
They didn't, and this could bring an end to the Norv Turner era in San Diego.
The Ravens converted on a dazzling catch-and-run by Ray Rice, forced overtime and then won it 16-13 on Justin Tucker's 38-yard field goal with 1:07 left.
"Obviously on fourth-and-29 we had the chance to not let it get to that," Turner told Chargers.com. "We certainly weren't going to let them throw the ball up the field. They dumped the ball, and we thought we'd converge on it and get them well short of the first down. We had a couple guys take bad angles. We gave him a chance to cut back, and he cut back and made the first down."
San Diego (4-7) was pushed closer to elimination from the playoff picture for the third straight season. The Chargers fell four games behind AFC West leader Denver, which swept the season series against San Diego. In the wild-card race, the Chargers trail Indianapolis by three games and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati by two games.
While Tucker provided most of Baltimore's scoring with three field goals, Rice had the play of the game. Pushed back by a holding call against guard Marshal Yanda and a 9-yard sack of Joe Flacco by Antwan Barnes, the Ravens were down to
Flacco took a shotgun snap, looked downfield and then threw a short pass to Rice, who ran through a big hole in the middle of the field. Three Chargers missed him at midfield before Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason finally brought him down.
"Check down, Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice up the middle," the Ravens running back described the play. "It was just total will. Once I made the first guy miss when I cut back across the grain, I actually saw the defense had to flip their hip and I kept eyeing the first down. ... I just kept getting up field."
The ball was spotted at the 33. After a lengthy review, the ball was moved back to the 34, and the officials measured. The new spot still gave the Ravens (9-2) a first down by the length of the ball.
"The explanation we got was that where they spotted the ball, they couldn't see the ball," Turner said. "They knew it did not make it to the point where they marked it so they moved it back. I don't know how if they can't see the ball how they pick where they were going to move the ball back to. The view our guys had upstairs, they felt it was short."
Six plays after the big conversion, Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to tie the game as regulation expired.
"I thought it might be our best shot at the time -- give it to Ray -- and Ray made a great run and got a little lucky and it worked out perfect," Flacco said.
Chargers safety Eric Weddle pursued Rice on the play but was hit by wide receiver Anquan Boldin and sustained a concussion.
"I thought I tackled him," Weddle said. "That's the last thing I remember, but obviously I didn't. We had a really tough game defensively, and we didn't pull out the win."
Said linebacker: Takeo Spikes: "I can't even explain it. Before this it was like a roller coaster full of emotions up and down. I don't know what happened, it just happened."
San Diego punted on both of its OT possessions.
Then on third-and-10 from the Chargers 47, Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith went over Jammer's tight coverage to make a 31-yard catch. Flacco twice took a knee to set up the winning kick.
This was the third time the Chargers blew a double-digit lead in the second half. They also came from ahead to lose at New Orleans, and they blew a 24-0 halftime lead and lost 35-24 to Denver.