Tylan Wallace authors walk-off punt return in Ravens’ win

Wallace’s walk-off kick return won the game for the Ravens.

Wallace scored what might have been the strangest touchdown in Baltimore Ravens history on Sunday, putting them on top of the AFC.

Wallace’s stunning 76-yard punt return for a score in overtime gave the Ravens a thrilling 37-31 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday. He called it a “once-in-a-lifetime moment.”

Wallace filled in for Devin Duvernay, a Pro Bowl returner who hurt his back. Before Sunday’s game, Wallace had never made a touchdown or returned a kick in his three years in the NFL.

He then scored Baltimore’s first touchdown on a punt return in five years on his third runback for the game.

“On that particular play, we had a comeback set up, and I thought, This is the ideal chance to put the match away,” said Wallace. “It just sounds great to have been able to make an impact in the match and help the players win.”

The Ravens (10-3) went to the top of the AFC standings after winning their seventh straight game. The No. 1 place can be taken back by the Miami Dolphins (9-3) if they beat the Tennessee Titans in Monday night.

At the end of the game, Wallace’s score a minute and 18 seconds into OT was all the Ravens could talk about. In NFL history, this was a fourth overtime kick return for a score.

After Wallace scored, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, coach John Harbaugh, as well as most of the team ran to the end zone to celebrate with him. Jack said, “That looked like a movie.” “That was an amazing comeback.” That was really crazy.”

Wallace was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 draft. He is a key member of the special teams but hasn’t had much offensive playing time. On special teams, he has made 11 stops and caught six of them.

Harbaugh said that the team thought about using rookie first-round choice Zay Flowers in punt returns, but went with Wallace instead because he was next on the team’s depth chart.

“We thought, ‘Oh, he deserves it.'” The coach told them, “He’s ready for that moment.” “Do you think he’ll bring it back into the house now?” I didn’t think so, but I thought he’d catch it and maybe make someone miss.

Wallace was offside while covering a punt in the second quarter, which gave the Rams a chance to score on fourth-and-5.

After seven plays, Wallace made a mistake, and Matthew Stafford took advantage by hitting Davis Allen over a score from 7 yards out.

“To wipe all of that away and come up with a play such as that, on defense at that, it means everything to me,” he said. Wallace was able to make things right with the winning score.

In OT, both teams’ first drives did not end in a touchdown. Wallace saw a hole as soon as he caught the punt and subsequently spun out after making a tackle at the opposing 30-yard line.

Wallace was most scared when Rams safety Shaun Jolly grabbed his left foot from behind the Baltimore 45-yard line and tripped him up along the left sideline.

Wallace swerved to the left, dove straight through one would-be tackler, and stayed on his toes through an would-be trip.

Then he looked ahead and saw nothing but green grass. To celebrate his initial score, he did a somersault in the end zone.

When the Rams came to Baltimore within Week 14, the Ravens was their hands full. Lamar Jackson and his team had to lead an injury-time touchdown drive just to send the game into overtime.

With four minutes left, Baltimore was behind 28–23. With less than four minutes left, Jackson led the team down the field for a touchdown that made the score 28–23. The Ravens made the two-point try and now lead 31–28.

The Ravens’ touchdown drive was too good for Matthew Stafford or the Rams to match, but they did set up a field goal in the last 75 seconds of regulation, which sent the game into OT.