19
Oct
10

Ravens Blow Lead, Lose To Pats


By Jesse Jones

New England wanted revenge on Baltimore after the embarrassing 33-14 Ravens’ win in New England last year in the playoffs.  Sunday, they did just that.

The Baltimore Ravens scored first with a Billy Cundiff field goal, but gave up a BenJarvus Green-Ellis touchdown at the end of the first quarter to fall behind 7-3.  Flacco answered quickly with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap, and took their 10-7 lead into halftime.  Baltimore came out in the third quarter and scored another touchdown, this one from Flacco to Boldin, and increased their lead to 17-7.  After a Stephen Gostowski field goal the Ravens were up 17-10 at the end of the third.  In the fourth, the whole game changed.  Baltimore became very conservative on both sides of the ball, and it showed as they only managed to produce three more points the rest of the game.  Tom Brady and the offense started to click, and tied the game up at 20 with just under two minutes left thanks to a touchdown reception by Deion Branch and another Gostowski field goal.  Flacco and the offense would do nothing to try and win the game, as they settled for screen passes and did not attempt to go down the field.

The game would ultimately go into overtime.

In OT, Baltimore’s offense continued to do nothing and not take advantage of the defense stopped the Patriots.  Late in overtime, the Patriots started to click again and won the game 23-20 off a 35-yard field goal.  New England improved to 4-1 and Baltimore fell to 4-2.

This was the Patriots first game without Randy Moss, and Deion Branch’s first game back.  Branch did most of his work in the fourth quarter, and finished the game with 9 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown.  Tom Brady with a passer rating of only 69.5 thanks to two interceptions and 17 incompletions, but that didn’t stop him from throwing for 292 yards and taking over the game late.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense looked very impressive all through the game until the beginning of the fourth quarter.  Flacco finished the game 27-35 for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 119.3.  Ray Rice rushed the ball 28 times for 88 yards.  Derrick Mason had 8 catches for 100 yards, and Boldin had 4 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.

The Baltimore defense held their own until the late fourth quarter collapse, as they forced two interceptions and held the Pats to only 10 points through 3 quarters.

The turning point of the game came in the fourth quarter when Baltimore settled for a field goal instead of a touchdown.  Derrick Mason had his hands on the ball in the end zone, but thanks partially to a hit by Patrick Chung, Mason dropped the ball.  The touchdown would have put the Ravens up 24-10, and could have sealed the game.  Instead, Baltimore lost 23-20.

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