Fourth Quarter Friendly to Bucs

Baltimore will need a complete game as the Bucs have outscored teams 63-29 in the fourth.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, November 26th, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Mike Duffy, Week 12 vs Buccaneers

The Ravens have said all week that they are still in search of a “complete game,” a standout effort that spans four quarters.

They’ll need that this weekend with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming to M&T Bank Stadium. The Bucs have outscored teams 63-29 in the fourth quarter and allowed 72 second-half points, third-fewest in the NFL.

Needless to say, the Ravens must put it all together against their scrappy young opponent.

“They never quit,” said Ravens safety Ed Reed.  “They will fight in the end. You can see with the tape that they play an entire 60-minute game, and we have to match that intensity in the fourth quarter.”

A large debt of gratitude for the Buccaneers’ late-game wins rests on the shoulders of second-year quarterback Josh Freeman.

The Kansas State product owns six career victories while overcoming a fourth-quarter or overtime deficit. Four of those have come this season.

“I think it speaks well to Josh Freeman and the job he’s done just rallying them,” said Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh.  “In this league, no lead is safe, and they’ve proven that. So, we’re going to have to play really well in the fourth quarter to win the game.”

Freeman currently ranks second in the NFC and seventh in the entire league in fourth-quarter passer rating, boasting a 96.1 mark.

He’s also completed 39 of 57 passing attempts for 501 yards and five touchdowns.

Perhaps the biggest mark is Freemans’ zero interceptions in the final stanza among those six victories.

“A lot of teams tend to make mistakes in the fourth quarter, but not this team,” said cornerback Fabian Washington.  “Those guys seem like they come out with even more focus in the fourth quarter. They’ve played in a lot of tight games. You have to play mistake-free in those types of ballgames.

“With a young team, you’re typically going to see some mistakes. But, Freeman is one heck of a quarterback.  He’s playing with a cool head, and the team follows that.”

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