DENVER — Welcome to NFL immortality, Joe Flacco.

Somewhere up there in the all-time playoff archives near the "Hail Mary" by Staubach and the "Immaculate Reception" by Franco now lives the "Flacco Fling" by the Baltimore Ravens quarterback.

One big throw down the sideline, 70 make-or-break yards on a wing and a prayer – a high, arcing touchdown pass that soared through the icy air, flew over two defenders, landed in the hands of Jacoby Jones, saved the game for Baltimore and kept Ray Lewis' 17-year career going at least one more week.

The record will show Justin Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal 1:42 into the second overtime Saturday to give the Ravens a 38-35 victory over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The highlight? That would be Flacco's game-tying touchdown to Jones on third-and-3 from the 30 with 31 seconds left in regulation and no timeouts.

"At that point," Flacco said, "you have to start taking shots. You have to get a little lucky."

And while Flacco gets to celebrate that throw, Manning will have a long offseason to think about a really bad one.

On Denver's second possession of overtime, he stopped and threw across his body to the middle of the field and into the arms of Ravens cornerback Corey Graham at Denver's 45. Baltimore (12-6) ran five plays and gained 16 yards before Tucker sailed his winning kick down the middle.

The Manning throw, intended for Brandon Stokley, was one that quarterbacks from junior high to the pros are advised not to make. It's a throw that unraveled all the good Manning has accomplished during this, his comeback season from neck surgery during which he threw for 37 touchdowns and led the Broncos (13-4) to top seeding in the AFC.

"Yeah, bad throw," Manning said. "Probably the decision wasn't great either. I thought I had an opening, and I didn't get enough on it, and I was trying to make a play and certainly a throw I'd like to have back."

Lewis, who led the Ravens with 17 tackles over this nearly 77-minute game in 13-degree weather, kneeled down to the ground and put his helmet on the rock-solid turf when it was over.

"I've never been a part of a game so crazy in my life," he said.

After he thaws out, the Ravens, 9 1/2-point underdogs for this one, will get ready for a game at either New England or Houston, who meet Sunday for the other spot in the AFC title game.

This game, the longest since the Browns beat the New York Jets 23-20 in 1987, was an all-timer – up there with San Diego's 41-38 double-overtime victory over Miami for drama. But Flacco's throw might best be bookended next to one made by Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach, who famously brought the term "Hail Mary" to football after his game-winning toss to Drew Pearson beat Minnesota in the 1975 playoffs.

Staubach was near midfield when he threw his.

Flacco, who finished with 331 yards and three scores, was standing around the 20 for his throw, buying time in the pocket when he saw Jones sprinting down the right sideline into double coverage.

Defensive back Tony Carter slowed up and let Jones streak by him. Instead of staying step for step with Jones, safety Rahim Moore tried to leap and knock down the ball. Flacco, who throws the high, deep ball as well as anyone, got it over Moore's head and into Jones' hands.

"I started to step up in the pocket and I kept my eye on the safety's depth at that point," Flacco said. "Just felt I had a shot of maybe getting over him. At that point in the game, you don't have any timeouts, when you've got to go a pretty decent length you've got to start taking shots at some point. It happened to work out."

Jones caught it and pranced into the end zone, blowing kisses toward the crowd.

"I was kissing to God. I was thanking the lord," Jones said. "I don't disbelieve in myself. I've been believing in myself since I was born. Never no disbelief."

Moore was on the verge of tears after the game.

"The loss, it was my fault," Moore said. "I got a little too happy. It was pathetic. My fault. Next time I'll make that play."

The teams were tied at 14 after the first quarter, 21 at halftime, 28 after three quarters and at 35-35 after regulation.

They punted three times to start overtime, the last of them setting up Denver on its 7-yard line.

Manning was moving the Broncos along slowly and steadily. But on second-and-6 from the 38, he rolled to his right, stopped, planted and threw across the field. Graham stepped in front of Stokley for the interception. The Ravens D-back also had a first-quarter interception, which he returned 39 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

On many days, the two interceptions would have made him the star of the game. On this day – he was just another player making big plays for Baltimore. Even he was amazed at the Flacco-Jones touchdown.

" It was one of those miraculous plays," Graham said. "I don't think it'll ever be forgotten."

The wind chill at kickoff was 2 degrees, and Manning, wearing an orange-and-gray glove to get more feel in the icy weather, fell to 0-4 lifetime in playoff games when the temperature is 40 or less. He finished 28 for 43 for 290 yards and accounted for all three Denver turnovers – the two picks and a lost fumble that set up the touchdown that tied the game at 28 late in the third quarter.

Combined, the mistakes nullified a record-setting day for returner Trindon Holliday, who returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 104 yards for another score. Both were playoff records for longest returns, as was the 248 total return yards he had.

This was, more or less, the unthinkable for the Broncos, who came in on an 11-game winning streak and the odds-on favorite, at 3-1, to win the Super Bowl – in Manning's hometown of New Orleans, no less.

Instead, this loss goes down with the most devastating in Denver history. Right there with the 30-27 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 4, 1997 – another year when Denver looked very much like Super Bowl material.

"Certainly we did a lot of good things this season, but as of right now, it's hard to think about anything besides the loss tonight," Manning said.

Baltimore, meanwhile, will get ready for its second straight trip to the AFC title game.

Last year, Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal against New England that would have tied that game at the end of regulation.

This year, the Ravens had Tucker, and though the temperature was cold and the ball was hard, coach John Harbaugh showed zero desire to get the ball closer after Ray Rice ran for 11 yards to the Denver 34 near the end of the first overtime.

Tucker was making them from 67 yards in pre-game warmups and was practicing during the break between overtime periods.

"I always feel good when I go out on the field," he said. " Not many people get to do this. This is a heck of a lot of fun."

While he finished the day 1 for 1, Broncos kicker Matt Prater missed his only try, from 52 yards, when he hit the turf, then the ball, on an attempt at the end of the first half.

Broncos coach John Fox will be second-guessed about the decision to go for the long kick, especially considering the way Flacco responded: Throwing and completing three straight passes after the miss for a 58-yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 21 going into halftime.

The touchdown was a 32-yard connection to Torrey Smith, marking the second time Smith beat Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey. Smith also got behind the 12-time Pro Bowler for a 59-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

"The first one – I lost it," Bailey said. "The second one, he just made a great play. I was in position, he made a good play. That's why he's in the league."

All part of an uncharacteristic day for the Broncos, who routed Baltimore on its home field, 34-17, less than a month ago.

But on this day, the coldest playoff game in Broncos history, these were different teams playing for different stakes.

Flacco improved to 7-4 in playoff game. Rice finished with 131 yards and a score. With Lewis manning the middle of the field, the Broncos offense didn't look like the well-oiled machine it had over a winning streak dating to a 35-24 comeback win over San Diego in October.

The Ravens, meanwhile, looked more like the team that began the season 9-2 instead of the one that finished it losing four of their last five. And boy did they and the Broncos put on a show.

"That football game," Harbaugh said, "did football proud."

___

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  • Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis shakes hands Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) after the Ravens won 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis talks with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) after the Ravens won 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis shakes hands Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) after the Ravens won 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Ray Rice

    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) celebrates with fans after the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ray Rice

    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) celebrates with Ravens fans after beating the Denver Broncos 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Ray Lewis

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates after the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Denver Broncos fans react as the Broncos lose in overtime against the Baltimore Ravens in overtime while watching a broadcast of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game at Jackson's on Saturday Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens defeated the Broncos 38-35. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • Justin Tucker, Sam Koch

    Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) kicks the game winning field goal as Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch (4) holds against the Denver Broncos in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens won 38-35. Left is Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Denver Broncos fans react as the Broncos fail to score against in overtime the Baltimore Ravens while watching a broadcast of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game at Jackson's on Saturday Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens deafeated the Broncos 38-35. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • Ray Lewis

    In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates after the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Corey Graham, Brandon Stokley

    Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham (24) comes down with an interception of a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley (14) in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Justin Tucker, Joe Flacco

    Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) and quarterback Joe Flacco (5) celebrate after Tucker hit the game-winning field goal against the Denver Broncos in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens won 38-35. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Justin Tucker

    Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) reacts after hitting the winning field goal against the Denver Broncos in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens won 38-35. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Corey Graham, Bernard Pollard

    Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham (24) is congratulated by Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard (31) after intercepting a pass against the Denver Broncos in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. The Ravens won 38-35. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Corey Graham, Brandon Stokley

    Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham (24) comes down with an interception of a pass intended for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley (14) in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Peyton Manning

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Denver Broncos fans Jill Claunch and Zach Tinker, left, react to a Baltimore Ravens touchdown while watching a broadcast of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game between the Ravens and Broncos at Jackson's on Saturday Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • Peyton Manning, Terrell Suggs, Ryan Clady

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) as Denver Broncos tackle Ryan Clady blocks in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Jacoby Jones, Ed Dickson

    Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson (84) lifts Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones after Jones scored a touchdown against the Denver Broncos late in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Jacoby Jones, Torrey Smith

    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones celebrates with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) after scoring a touchdown against the Denver Broncos to tie the score late in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Jacoby Joes, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin

    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) reacts with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) after scoring a touchdown against the Denver Broncos to tie the score late in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Jacoby Joes, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin

    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) reacts with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) after scoring a touchdown against the Denver Broncos to tie the score late in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Jacoby Jones

    Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones celebrates as he crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Champ Bailey, Rahim Moore

    Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (24) and Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore bring down Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice n the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, left, congratulates wide receiver Demaryius Thomas after Thomas scored a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Demaryius Thomas

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Demaryius Thomas

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas leaps into the end zone to score a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Peyton Manning

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passes against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ray Lewis

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis walks off the field during the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ray Rice

    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) pushes his way across the goal line for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ray Rice

    Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice salutes after scoring a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in the third quarterof an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Ray Lewis

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis holds up the ball after recovering a fumble by Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Peyton Manning

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning walks off the field after fumbling the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Ronnie Hillman, Ray Lewis

    Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, right, is tackled by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis (52) in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • John Fox

    Denver Broncos coach John Fox questions a call from the sidelines against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. Left is Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Peyton Manning

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis, left, watches as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) celebrates with teammates after running back Knowshon Moreno (27) caught a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Eric Decker

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker breaks away from Baltimore Ravens defensive back Chykie Brown (23) in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Joe Flacco

    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco passes against the Denver Broncos in the second quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Trindon Holliday, John Fox

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Trindon Holliday is greeted by Denver Broncos coach John Fox after running a punt return back 90 yards for a touch down against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Ray Lewis

    Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis watches a replay from the sidelines in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Joe Flacco, Derek Wolfe

    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) fumbles the ball as Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe looks for the loose ball in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Keith Brooking

    Denver Broncos middle linebacker Keith Brooking holds up the ball after recovering a fumble by the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • David Bruton

    Denver Broncos free safety David Bruton (30) shouts after sacking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • David Bruton, Joe Flacco

    Denver Broncos free safety David Bruton (30) sacks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Denver Broncos fans celebrate a Broncos touchdown while watching a broadcast of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens at Jackson's on Saturday Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

  • Joe Flacco, Robert Ayers, David Bruton

    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is sacked by Denver Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers (91) and Denver Broncos free safety David Bruton (30) in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Joe Flacco, Derek Wolfe, Wesley Woodyard

    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe (95) and Denver Broncos outside linebacker Wesley Woodyard (52) in the third quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. Denver recovered the ball on the play. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Trindon Holliday

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Trindon Holliday (11) evades the Baltimore Ravens defense as he runs the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown during an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

  • Trindon Holliday

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Trindon Holliday runs the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Trindon Holliday

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Trindon Holliday crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens on the opening kickoff of the second half of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)