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Shutdown Corner

Adam Vinatieri’s miss takes Ray Rice off the hook after his second fumble (VIDEO)

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Ray Rice doesn't fumble and Adam Vinatieri doesn't miss big field goals in the playoffs.

So what the heck happened in the fourth quarter at Baltimore?

First, Rice lost his second fumble of the game (although the first was given to the Colts when they never really recovered it) when the ball was knocked loose from behind and recovered by Indy. It was a total fluke. In 1,527 career regular-season touches, Rice had lost six fumbles. In the 2010, 2011 and 2012 regular seasons combined he lost two fumbles. This season he had 257 carries, 61 receptions and his one fumble was recovered by the Ravens.

[Also: Pack quickly turn attention to 49ers challenge]

However, his second fumble of the AFC wild-card game happened in a big spot, with Baltimore hanging onto a 17-9 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Colts came right down the field on the Ravens, with the momentum of the game changing a bit, then had their own fluky occurrence.

Vinatieri, one of the best kickers ever, had already hit three field goals Sunday, including a playoff career best 52-yarder as the first half expired. This time, he pushed a 40-yard attempt wide right. It was off line from the moment it left his foot and never came back.

The relief on Rice's face after Vinatieri's miss was obvious and understandable.

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