Trailing the New England Patriots 30-28 with 1:55 left in the game, Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens offense took the field. Flacco quickly found Jones for 24 yards, followed by back-to-back grabs from Pitta. Buoyed by a pass interference call, the Ravens advanced to 1st and Goal. With time expiring, Tucker hit a short FG for a 31-30 Baltimore win.
With the win, the Ravens do not avenge the AFC Championship Game loss, but they do move to 2-1. Give Baltimore credit for surviving, and finding a way to win a tough game.
1) After allowing a 1st down on Brady’s first pass, the Ravens defense came up with a great statement on the Patriots initial series. On 3rd and 14, with the Baltimore crowd going wild, the Ravens collapsed the pocket and Ellerbe brought Brady down for the sack.
2) Aided by Jacoby Jones’ 19 yard punt return, Baltimore started their first series from their own 44 yard line.
3) On the Patriots 2nd series, they faced 3rd and 9 from the Ravens 19. Brady found Edelman in the end zone, but Reed saved the Ravens from allowing a TD with a well-timed hit. NE was forced to settle for a FG.
4) Down 10-0, Deonte Thompson returned the Patriots kickoff 36 yards, giving the Ravens something positive to start their 3rd drive with.
5) The Ravens began their 4th series of the game with 30 seconds left in the 1st Quarter. had a couple of positive runs. On 2nd and 7 from the Baltimore 27, Pierce caught a 10 yard pass. On the next play he ran for 8. Flacco then found Leach for 6 yards. Osemele was doing some good blocking. On 3rd and 13 from the Baltimore 48, Boldin had a great reach to gain the 1st down. It was an outstanding challenge from Harbaugh, and the Ravens to get another look at the play. Baltimore capped the drive, with Flacco finding T. Smith from 25 yards out for the TD. This pulled the Ravens within 6 at 13-7.
6) Following the Ravens first score, the Patriots quickly moved from their 20 yard line to the Ravens 49. On 2nd and 6, Upshaw had a great play burying Edelman on an end-around for a 13 yard tackle for loss. This was a huge play, and two plays later the Patriots had to punt.
7) The Ravens 2nd series of the 2nd Quarter started from their own 8 yard line with 6:36 remaining in the half. Facing 3rd and 4 from the 14, Flacco was flushed in the pocket. Flacco did well to gain the 1st down with his legs. Several plays later Rice had a great block. The Ravens moved down the field, when Flacco and Jones connected on a 41 yard gain. Baltimore took the 14-13 lead, when Pitta scored from 20 yards out on 3rd and 4. There was horrible tackling from NE, which allowed the TD, but the Ravens would have had the 1st down regardless. The Ravens moved 92 yards over 10 plays on the drive, which took 4:49 off the clock.
8) Getting the ball to start the 2nd half, Rice ran for 15 yards on the Ravens first play. Leach blew up Mayo with a strong block, allowing Rice to pick up 4 more later on the drive. On 3rd and 2, Smith had his 2nd catch. His 11 yard grab moved the ball to the Patriots 39. Smith’s 3rd catch came over the middle for 32 yards, and set up 1st and Goal from the 7. On the next play, Rice exploded for 7 yards and the score. The 8 play, 80 yard drive was a great answer to NE’s score to end the half. This put the Ravens up 21-20.
9) After being charged with a false start to begin the Ravens 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter, Smith had his 4th catch of the game. Smith’s 38 yard reception took Baltimore to the NE 47.
10) The Ravens began their first drive of the 4th Quarter down 9 point with just over 14 minutes left. Flacco hit Pitta for 5 yards, followed by a 9 yard gain from Rice. Flacco found Boldin for a 24 yard gain, that took the Ravens to the Patriots 42. On 3rd and 5 from the Patriots 35, Rice picked up 2 more on a drop off. This set up a 4th and 1 which the Ravens elected to go for with their Jumbo package. They did not pick up the 1st down, but I liked the decision to go for the 1st. My feeling is even down 2 scores, I would rather see the offense asked to get a yard vs. attempt the long FG.
11) Ellerbe made a nice play shooting the gap in the 4th. On that same series, Jimmy Smith had a big tackle on Branch. On 3rd and 14, the Ravens finally forced NE to punt, getting the ball back down 9 with 7:30 left in the game.
12) Trailing by 9 points in the middle of the 4th, you still felt the Ravens had a chance because of the no-huddle. Helped by a penalty on NE, the Ravens gained a 1st. Passes to Jones, and Smith moved the Ravens into NE territory. After a 5 yard dump off to Pitta, Rice took the Ravens to the NE 10 yard line with a 27 yard reception, and run. Smith might have pushed off, but he made a beautiful catch for the TD. With 4 minutes remaining, NE was up 30-28.
13) Ngata and Ellerbe combined on a sack to force 3rd and 16 on New England’s last series. Kruger brought pressure on the following play.
14) What a performance from Smith. The best to him and his family.
1) The Ravens had good field position on their first series, but were unable to move the chains. Rice had two short carries, and on Boldin came up about a yard short on his 3rd down reception.
2) On New England’s 2nd series, the Patriots picked up 3rd and 1 when Woodhead got past Kemoeatu at the line. On the following play, Brady found Welker down the sideline for 59 yards.
3) Flacco’s 1st Quarter interception put the Ravens defense in a horrible position, but they did have NE facing 3rd and Goal from 2. For the second time, the Ravens defense was beat in a short-yardage running situation.
4) Baltimore went 3 and out on their 3rd offensive series. On 3rd and 5, the Ravens receivers found no separation from the Patriots defenders, and Flacco was forced to drop off the ball to Dickson short of the 1st down marker.
5) The Patriots faced 3rd and long on their 4th series, on their own 13 yard line. The Ravens got zero pass rush and Brady found Lloyd for 11 yards. Later in that series, the Patriots advanced to the Ravens 29 yard line on Ngata’s penalty. Helped by a New England penalty the Ravens had pushed back NE to the 40, and forced a 3rd and 21. The Patriots did not pick up the 1st down, but Brady did connect with Welker for 9 yards. This allowed NE to attempt a FG, which Gostkowski converted from 49 yards out putting NE up 13.
6) On Baltimore’s first series of the 2nd Quarter, Boldin had a penalty which eliminated a solid gain from Rice.
7) During Baltimore’s 2nd series of the 3rd Quarter, they had a 2nd and 5 on the NE 42. A 10 yard penalty knocked them backwards, and several plays later they had to punt. This was a missed opportunity to eat into the NE lead (the Patriots were leading 27-21 at the time).
8) Leading 27-21, NE began their 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter from their own 20. On their previous two drives, they had TD drives of 81, and 80 yards. Helped by a penalty on Reed, the Patriots again moved down the field. This drive continued into the 4th Quarter. On 3rd and Goal, Webb ran down Welker to hold NE to a FG attempt. This felt like a ‘win’, but the truth is it was a 3rd consecutive series where Brady and the NE offense dominated the action against the Ravens defense. Gostkowski’s 20 FG put the Patriots up 9 at 30-21.
9) Flacco should have been picked off on the Ravens first drive of the 4th Quarter. He could have been picked off again on the last drive.
10) The Ravens were not able to convert 4th and 1 from the New England 33 yard line in the 4th Quarter. I liked the decision to go for the 1st. I liked using the Jumbo offense. That is a play where your big uglies have to beat their big uglies. The Ravens failed to win that battle up-front.
11) Yanda was charged with holding on the Ravens 2nd series of the 4th Quarter.
12) With 4 minutes left in the Game, the Patriots took over on offense up 2. On 2nd down, they gained another 1st down when there was nobody covering Welker. How does that happen? Several plays later Webb was charged with illegal contact on a would be interception.
1) After NE’s initial FG, the Ravens started their second series from their 23 yard line. On play action, Flacco attempted to find Pitta in the seam but was picked off. Gregory interception was returned 36 yards, giving NE 1st and Goal from the Ravens 6. The Patriots would quickly score, putting the Ravens down 10-0 with 7 minutes left in the 1st Quarter.
2) The Ravens were dominated across the board in the 1st Quarter.
3) The Patriots started their last drive of the 1st half from their 19 yard line, with under 2 minutes on the clock. 9 plays, and 81 yards later they found the end-zone to close out the half. With Baltimore having just taken the 14-13 lead, this was incredibly deflating. On New England’s drive, they threw the ball 8 times. Brady simply had too much time to throw from a clean pocket. One of the major plays of the drive, was Brady finding Woodhead for 9 yards on 3rd and 6 from the New England 40. That was the fourth 3rd down (of 8 attempts) that NE converted in the 1st half.
4) The Patriots faced 3rd and 6 on their first series of the 2nd half, when Brady connected with Welker for 11 yards. Several plays later, the Patriots again had 3rd and 6 with Brady found Lloyd for another 1st down. NBC’s Collinsworth said Lloyd got away with a push off. That might be true, but what was also clear was the Ravens were continuing to have problems getting any pressure on Brady, and forcing NE’s offense off the field. A personal foul on Pollard, advanced the Patriots to the Ravens 20 yard line. Several plays later NE scored on a Woodhead TD run. With the extra-point, the Patriots went up 27-21.
5) An unsportsmanlike penalty on the bench? Seriously?
Flacco was 28-39, for 382 yards, with 3 TD’s.
The Pats were 7 of 15 on 3rd down.
The Ravens had 503 yards, and allowed 396.
The two teams combined for 24 penalties.
Rice had 20 carries for 101 yards, and a TD. Also caught 5 passes for 49 yards.
Smith 6 catches, 127 yards, 2 TD’s.
Jones 3 catches, 86 yards.
Pitta 5 catches, 50 yards, Boldin 4 catches, 48 yards.
Welker and Lloyd combined for 17 catches, for 250 yards.