Found January 20, 2013 on
New England Patriots
Joe Flacco outdueled Tom Brady, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship.
The win sets up the first Super Bowl coached by brothers, Baltimore's John Harbaugh and San Francisco's Jim. The 49ers won the NFC title earlier Sunday 28-24 at Atlanta.
The 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites.
Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis' final season will conclude in two weeks in New Orleans; he was the MVP of the 2001 game, the Ravens' only Super Bowl win.
Flacco had two touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and one to Dennis Pitta as the Ravens outscored the Patriots 21-0 in the second half. Baltimore's defense made Brady look ordinary and stymied the league's top offense. Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime.
Flacco's three touchdown passes came in just over 10 minutes in the second half. He connected with Bolden for two TDs in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter - a 3-yarder and an 11-yarder - after hitting Pitta with a 5-yard strike with 6:14 left in the third.
The Ravens (13-6) gained just 130 yards in the first half before Flacco guided them on scoring drives of 87 and 63 yards.
New England (13-5) suffered three injuries in the first half. Cornerback Aqib Talib hurt his thigh and defensive tackle Kyle Love injured his knee. The return of both starters was questionable. Backup safety Patrick Chung was helped off the field after one play.
The Patriots played without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his left arm a week earlier in their 41-28 divisional win over the Houston Texans.
Stephen Gostkowski had given the Patriots a 3-0 lead with a 31-yard field goal with 6:21 left in the first quarter. But the Ravens went ahead on Ray Rice's 2-yard touchdown run with 9:28 to go in the second.
Wes Welker then scored with just over 4 minutes remaining in the half on a 1-yard pass from Brady and the Patriots increased their lead on Gostkowski's 25-yard field goal on the final play before intermission.
New England outgained Baltimore 214 yards to 130 in the half. Brady completed 14 of 24 passes for 139 yards, while Flacco went 6 for 12 for 81 yards. Neither team committed a turnover.
The scoring pass to Bolden ended a drive on which Flacco completed five of six passes, the longest a 23-yarder to Torrey Smith.
The touchdown by Pitta capped the Ravens' best drive of the game, covering 87 yards in 10 plays. It started with a 15-yard defensive pass interference penalty. Then, Flacco completed six of his other nine passes on the series. Three of them went for first downs - 22 yards to Pitta, 15 to Rice and 12 to Bolden that gave the Ravens a first-and-goal at the Patriots 10-yard line.
Flacco then connected with Pitta for a 5-yard pass and finished the drive with another 5-yarder to Pitta, who easily beat single coverage by safety Steve Gregory.
The Patriots began the scoring on Gostkowski's kick, ending a 13-play, 67-yard drive during which Brady completed five of seven passes for 55 yards.
Rice's touchdown ended a 13-play, 90-yard drive that lasted 5:51. Flacco threw completions for first downs of 17 yards to Pitta, 11 yards to Rice, 8 yards to Bernard Pierce and 25 yards to Smith. With a first down at the Patriots 15-yard line, Rice ran for 8 and 5 yards, giving the Ravens a first down at the 2.
After Flacco threw an incompletion out of bounds, Rice took a handoff, ran to the left and scored easily.
Welker's touchdown came 4:18 before intermission and capped an 11-play, 79-yard drive. He scored on a pass to the right as cornerbacks Corey Graham and Chykie Brown appeared to get crossed up on their assignments.
On the first play of the series, Baltimore's Dannell Ellerbe was penalized 15 yards for a blow to the head. Then a 24-yard completion from Brady to Welker gave the Patriots a first down at the Ravens 16-yard line.
Both teams punted on their first possession before the Patriots began their scoring drive at their 21-yard line after a 50-yard punt by Sam Koch.
The Patriots began the series with Brady's 8-yard completion to Brandon Lloyd. The pair teamed up for three completions, gaining 37 yards, on the drive.
The Ravens punted on their first three possessions in the first quarter. The Patriots punted on three of their four series, forcing Baltimore to start deep in its territory.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Ravens had the best defense, the best coach, and the best quarterback on the field tonight. That is why they are heading to the Super Bowl.
It made for great story lines all week. The upstart, emotional Ravens, playing for Ray Lewis' retirement, come to New England seeking revenge against a superior offense.Joe Flacco, set to prove that he is in the same league as Tom Brady, needs to repeat his performance from a week earlier in Denver; can New England's defense rise to the challenge, or are they as weak as everyone...
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady entered Sunday’s AFC Championship game needing just 277 yards passing to surpass Brett Favre as the all-time post-season passing yardage leader. Brady set the mark, throwing for 32o yards, but his afternoon was not one of his more memorable performances in his storied career. The Patriots entered the afternoon with the league’s best home winning...
With the Ravens hanging on to an 8 point lead the very first play of the 4th quarter was one of the key plays in the game. At these times in the game is when Tom Brady makes his living being known as one of the most clutch QB’s of all time, but instead on this drive was cut short. The Patriots decide to run the ball with Ridley, who rips off 8 yards, but gets hit helmet-to-helmet...
One of the most controversial plays of Sunday’s AFC Championship game came at the end of the second quarter when Tom Brady scrambled out of the pocket and slid cleats high into Ravens safety Ed Reed. Not only did the slide look to be a dirty, unsportsmanlike play by Brady, it was resulted in a case of terrible time management that might have cost the Pats seven points at the end...
Tom Brady stood helplessly with his hands on his hips after his tipped pass was intercepted. He walked slowly to the sideline, removed his helmet and sat on the bench.
A fourth-quarter comeback chance was gone. The end of his season was less than seven minutes away.
Playoff games leave teams with ''either euphoria or crash landing.
''For us,'' New England...
Yesterday, Bernard Pollard implied that Tom Brady should be fined for kicking Ed Reed in the umm groin area on a slide. Today, it appears as if the NFL is looking into it.
JUST IN - Tom Brady is being reviewed by league officials for his slide/kick in AFC Championship (via @edwerderespn)
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2013
To me, it looked completely accidental...
The Patriots didn't force any turnovers, Joe Flacco hit a good number of 20+ yard throws, the Patriots could not convert in the redzone, Tom Brady threw two interceptions, Aqib Talib was injured early in the first quarter and Bernard Pollard injured Stevan Ridey - forcing a fumble.
Essentially, it was the perfect storm for the Ravens to win. Everything that needed to happen...
BY NICK ST. DENISThe New England Patriots boasted the best red zone offense in the NFL during the 2012 season. They weren't as good Sunday night.Tom Brady's squad converted on only one of four trips inside the 20-yard line in a 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game.“That’s the game," Patriots receiver Deion Branch told the media after the...
8 a.m. ET: The day of reckoning is upon us, at least for those of us who intently follow the NFL.
The NFL’s conference judgment day will begin with the San Francisco 49ers’ visit to Atlanta for the NFC crown, but all eyes will be peeled for the Ravens’ trip to Foxboro to mark a repeat of last season’s AFC title game.
Tom Brady has been preparing for his chance at a sixth...
I Said, Ha Ha
> The winds were strong, which means that we heard about them for a really long time> Baltimore won the toss and elected to do the intelligent thing> This is Patriots QB Tom Brady's 7th AFC Championship game, which is just kind of nuts> On 3rd and 2, Brady hit WR Wes Welker deep, but there's a reason why the Patriots aren't going to retain Welker...
Before diving into the two week buildup that is the Super Bowl (and which will be even more blown up than ever before because of the Harbaugh brothers coaching against each other) I’ll go ahead and share the video that the guys from “Bad Lip Reading” on YouTube posted last week. Ever wonder what the coach was saying after that game-changing call? Wonder why Tom Brady was high...