BOSTON (CBS) — Once the Sunday slate of NFL games is complete, all eyes in the NFL world will turn to the Sunday night matchup between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
There’s plenty at stake, as the loser of this game will come away with a losing record of 1-2. It should be a tight one, too, so stick with our live blog from the opening kick to the final whistle for all the updates.
Final, Ravens 31-30: A pass interference penalty on Devin McCourty gets the Ravens into the red zone, and Justin Tucker doesn’t pull a Billy Cundiff and instead comes through to give the Ravens the victory.
The kick wasn’t a no-doubter though, and some Patriots players seemed to think it was wide, but it did appear good.
And that one’s in the books. The Patriots have a losing record for the first time since September 2003.
Fourth quarter, 1:55, 30-28 Patriots: After some confusion about a timeout, the Patriots fail to convert their third-and-long and end up punting with just over two minutes left. Jacoby Jones muffed the punt but landed on it, and the Ravens will take over at their own 21-yard line, trailing by two.
Fourth quarter, 4:01, 30-28 Patriots: The Ravens cap off a 92-yard drive with another touchdown to Torrey Smith.
That touchdown came after a sack was taken off the board, thanks to a defensive holding penalty called on Brandon Spikes. That penalty was perhaps legitimate, but the one on Devin McCourty earlier in the drive surely was not. Alas, that’s how this game is going, and the Ravens will need to get the ball back in order to have a chance at this one.
Fourth quarter, 7:29, 30-21 Patriots: Brandon Lloyd is now over 100 yards receiving tonight, but the Pats are unable to sustain a drive and the Ravens will take over at their own 7-yard line after the punt by Zoltan Mesko.
Fourth quarter, 10:50, 30-21: The Ravens gamble by going for it on fourth down, and it doesn’t work. Jerod Mayo busted through the line untouched, and he blew up the fullback. Bernard Pierce had nowhere to go, and Patrick Chung pulled him down for a loss on the play. The Patriots take over, and one more scoring drive will ice this one.
Fourth quarter, 14:10, 30-21 Patriots: Brady connected with Welker on an out pattern on third down, but Welker was dragged down short of the goal line. Gostkowski chipped in another field goal, though, and the Pats now lead by nine.
End of the third quarter, 27-21 Patriots: Deion Branch just absorbed a massive hit by Ed Reed over the middle, but Branch appears to somehow be OK. This was a full-speed collision, and it’ll certainly draw a fine from the NFL for Reed. It didn’t appear to be helmet-to-helmet (it looked more shoulder to helmet), but regardless, it drew a 15-yard penalty for a hit on a defenseless receiver.
When the fourth quarter begins, the Pats will have a second-and-goal from the 7-yard line.
Third quarter, 4:57, 27-21 Patriots: Big surprise here, but the ref screwed up. The Patriots were offside on the punt, so the ref allowed the Ravens to tack on the penalty from the end of the return. The problem there is that, well, that’s not in the rules. After a commercial break, the Ravens end up punting again, with this one going into the end zone and giving the Patriots an extra few yards.
Third quarter, 5:06, 27-21 Patriots: We have breaking news from Baltimore: The Patriots have come up with a third-down stop.
Devin McCourty broke up a long pass on third down, Wes Welker returns the punt for the Pats, replacing Edelman. I suppose the “phasing out” of Welker is on hold for now, with Edelman hurt.
Third quarter, 6:48, 27-21: If you’re a fan of defense (or officiating), then I fear this isn’t your night. The Patriots answer the Ravens’ 80-yard drive with one of their own, with Danny Woodhead capping it off with a three-yard touchdown run. Wes Welker made a huge third-down catch, and Lloyd made a nice catch along the sideline to move the chains as well. You also saw Kellen Winslow’s debut, as he was targeted on an incompletion.
The Pats were also aided by a missed call on what should have been offensive pass interference on Brandon Lloyd. You shouldn’t expect these guys to make any calls tonight though, not with what we’ve seen thus far.
Third quarter, 11:36, 21-20 Ravens: Eight plays, 80 yards, touchdown. Not exactly how the Patriots wanted to open the second half.
The Ravens made it look pretty easy, too, only getting help from one suspect defensive holding call on the drive. Ray Rice capped it off with a touchdown run from seven yards out.
Noteworthy here as the Patriots get the ball back: Julian Edelman went to the locker room with an apparent injury.
Third quarter, 15:00, 20-14 Patriots: The second half is under way.
Levan Reid shares his halftime thoughts:
On the last possession of the quarter for the Pats, they get on the board, and everyone took part in this one. Welker had a huge gain to put the Pats in the red zone, and Julian Edelman hauled in a six-yard touchdown reception. Nine plays, 81 yards and the Pats go into the half in charge.
The Ravens had the ball going into the quarter and they scored on a 13-play drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.
On the Pats’ first possession of the quarter, they turned the ball over on downs. They were moving the ball and Josh McDaniels sent in a terrible direct snap play. It went for a loss of 13 yards and blew up the set of downs.
On the Ravens’ second possession of the quarter, they used another long drive to get on the board. Ray Rice got the job done on the ground and then it was Joe Flacco to Dennis Pitta for a 20-yard touchdown reception. The tackling by Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory on the Pitta touchdown reception was extremely poor.
Second quarter, :02, 20-14 Patriots: The Ravens scored their touchdown earlier, which was good for them, but they left much too much time for Tom Brady. He made them pay with an absolute bullet to Edelman from seven yards out for a Patriots touchdown, and they’ll take a lead into halftime.
Second quarter, :07, 14-13 Ravens: The Patriots are on the 7-yard line looking to punch one in before the half. They’ve got one chance to do it.
Second quarter, 1:45, 14-13 Ravens: Steve Gregory and Devin McCourty just authored a lesson on how not to tackle. The two had Dennis Pitta bracketed against the sideline. Gregory made a dive at the legs and McCourty tried to wrap him up high. Both swung and missed, and Pitta waltzed into the end zone for a touchdown.
Second quarter, 2:00, 13-7 Patriots: The Ravens are driving, and they face a second-and-4 at the Patriots’ 20-yard line. The highlight of the drive came early on, when Flacco scrambled on third down and stretched the ball out as he dived in the middle of the field, just getting the first down. Flacco then connected for a long completion with Jacoby Jones to get the Ravens into Patriots territory.
Remember, the Ravens get the ball to start the second half, so a score here and another on the other side of halftime could turn this game around.
Second quarter, 6:36, 13-7 Patriots: A big completion from Brady to Edelman goes for naught, as a reverse to Edelman (after a direct snap to Woodhead) lost 14 yards on second down. The Pats punted and the Ravens take over on their own 11-yard line.
Second quarter, 9:45, 13-7 Patriots: In a really nice moment, Torrey Smith caught a touchdown pass for the Ravens. Smith, of course, tragically lost his younger brother in a motorcycle accident last night.
That said, that entire drive was aided by the incompetent officials. It was too much to even sum up in one paragraph, but suffice it to say, there will be plenty to talk about this week.
WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid checks in with his highs and lows from the first quarter:
On the Ravens’ first possession of the quarter, Kyle Arrington’s tight coverage on Anquan Boldin on a third down forced an early punt.
On the Pats’ second possession of the quarter, they got on the board. A 59-yard passing play to Wes Welker led to a 37-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Bodies are flying in this game. Big hits all around
Steve Gregory came up with a big interception and that led to a touchdown.
The Pats’ defense is playing strong overall. Brandon Lloyd also made a couple of great catches, leading to another Gostkowski field goal.
On the opening possession, Brady fumbled the ball when he wasn’t ready for a snap and Wes Welker recovered it. Then, he was sacked on third down.
The refs have to get a hold of this game. Fights and skirmishes are breaking out all over.
End of first quarter, 13-0 Patriots: Devin McCourty nearly made the Patriots’ second pick of the quarter, but he was unable to haul in the Flacco overthrow.
The Ravens will face a third down after this much-needed break in the action. This game has been like a truck with broken brake lines speeding out of control through a traffic jam. If you’re watching, you might have a headache. If you’re not watching and you’re trying to follow along, hit yourself over the head with a frying pan to get with the rest of us.
First quarter, :38, 13-0 Patriots: This one’s getting out of hand, and the officials look overmatched. Don’t be surprised if you see a full-on fight tonight.
The Pats were victim to two bad calls on that drive, the first a holding call on Gronkowski when he simply blocked his man, and an offensive pass interference call on Edelman which wiped out a first down. The Pats went to Welker for a screen on third down to get into field goal position, and he got them there. Gostkowski booted his second field goal of the quarter, and the Pats lead 13-0.
First quarter, 2:45, 10-0 Patriots: The Tom Brady-Brandon Lloyd connection looks like it’s working pretty well at this point. The two connected for a big third-down conversion, then the two showed off picture-perfect timing on a back-shoulder throw.
There are some fireworks now, as Haloti Ngata dove on top of Brady after the quarterback went into a slide. After a brief scuffle, the Pats took their free 15 yards and continue their drive on the 29.
First quarter, 7:09, 10-0 Patriots: The Pats went with a no-huddle, and after a 4-yard completion to Michael Hoomanawanui, Brady handed the ball off to Brandon Bolden, who punched it in from the 2-yard line. That’s how you make them pay for turnovers.
First quarter, 7:31, 3-0 Patriots: Joe Flacco looked very Joe Flacco on that one, and Steve Gregory took advantage. Gregory picked off Flacco’s pass and returned it to the 6-yard line.
First quarter, 7:48, 3-0 Patriots: The Patriots are on the board thanks to Stephen Gostkowski nailing a 37-yard field goal.
The big play of the drive was a beautiful 59-yard catch and run from Brady to Welker along the left sideline. Welker ran a wheel route on the left side and was left uncovered. Brady lofted the ball perfectly into Welker’s arms, and he did the rest. Brady later nearly connected with Julian Edelman for a touchdown, but Ed Reed delivered a heavy blow to the Pats’ receiver as he tried to haul in the pass.
Also of note, things got really chippy after a 1-yard gain by Stevan Ridley, and Logan Mankins looked angry. As is usually the case with mini-scrums, you can’t really tell what caused it or what went on. Still, with the replacement officials, we’ll see if they can keep this one under control.
First quarter, 10:49: Kyle Arrington comes up with a huge third-down tackle of Anquan Boldin to force the Ravens to punt. The Ravens downed it on the 11-yard line, and Brady and the offense will head back out there.
And for those of you on Welker watch, he was out there for three of the first four plays for New England.
First quarter, 12:40, 0-0: That was not an ideal start for the Patriots’ offense. Brady connected with Brandon Lloyd for a first down on the first play of the game, but then a short pass to Julian Edelman lost a couple of yards. Then, Ryan Wendell snapped a ball to Brady before the quarterback was ready for it, and the Pats had to fall on the ball. On third down, the Patriots picked up a middle blitz by Baltimore, but nobody was open and Brady had to take the sack.
Jacoby Jones’ punt return sets the Ravens up at their own 44-yard line.
First quarter, 15:00: Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense will get this one started at the 20-yard line after a touchback.
8:05 p.m.: It’s obviously only Week 3, so a lot will change between now and January. Still, it’s interesting to look at the standings and see how crazy this season is shaping up to be.
The Broncos, picked by many experts to be a Super Bowl contender, are now 1-2. The same can be said for the Steelers, who just lost to the Raiders and are now 1-2. The only undefeated teams left are the Falcons, Texans and … Cardinals. If you had that as your preseason prediction, come on up and collect your prize.
7:21 p.m.: WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid checks in with his thoughts on the Patriots’ inactives:
Shane Vereen is now becoming an utter disappointment. I thought he would be able to help the Pats this season but he just can’t get right. It’s nice to see Dan Connolly is not on this list. Hopefully his head feels good enough that he can get out there on the field.
7:02 p.m.: The Patriots just released their inactives for tonight. They are:
That list noticeably does not include Kellen Winslow Jr., which means we will be seeing his debut tonight. Logan Mankins and Brandon Lloyd, who were checked out by trainers prior to the game, also will play.
The Ravens’ inactives are:
6:47 p.m.: The stat of the night is that Tom Brady only needs 21 yards tonight to pass Joe Montana for the 12th-most passing yards in NFL history. I have a hunch that he’ll get it.
6:21 p.m.: The Ravens’ official Twitter account just posted that Torrey Smith jogged onto the field for warmups. It was unclear if he’d be with the team tonight, after his brother tragically died in a motorcycle accident overnight. It looks like he’s going to play, with a heavy heart of course.
6:15 p.m.: Reports from Baltimore say that Logan Mankins and Brandon Lloyd went through some pregame stretches and workouts with trainers.
6:10 p.m.: The Patriots are officially in second place heading into tonight’s game. With the Jets playing the Dolphins earlier, that was bound to be the case. And with the Bills winning (in addition to the Jets’ overtime win in Miami), the Pats trail both teams in the standings.
That obviously means very little right now, as a win tonight would put three teams in first, but still, seeing the Patriots sitting in third place is always an odd sight to see.
Pregame: Ray Lewis and Tom Brady are both surefire Hall of Famers, and together they have 387 NFL games between them. Interestingly, they’ve met just four times in the regular season and twice in the postseason. In those games, Brady’s Patriots have won six of them, including the most recent meeting in the AFC Championship Game in January.
The two have tremendous respect for each other, and it was on display in NFL Network’s “A Football Life,” this week. After that playoff game last year, Brady told Lewis on the field that he’s the best and that he loved him. Chances are, once this one starts, there won’t be too much loving going on between the two.