Patriots-Ravens AFC Championship Live Blog: Ravens Beat Patriots 28-13 To Advance To Super Bowl
Final – Ravens 28, Patriots 13: We hope you didn’t jump the gun last week and booked your flight and hotel for New Orleans.
Not that a mid-winter trip to New Orleans isn’t fun. You just won’t be joined by the Patriots on this one.
The Baltimore Ravens came out at half time and just flat-out dominated this game. The offense made plays when they needed to — led by Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin — and their defense came up with a trio of turnovers.
The Patriots offense never got anything going in the second half, letting the Ravens put up 21-unanswered points.
It’s another season without a Lombardi Trophy for the Patriots. Stick with CBSBostonsports.com for updates throughout the night. We promise to keep it positive…. if we can.
4th Quarter, 1:58 – Ravens 28-13: Soak in these next two minutes. The Patriots season is coming to an end.
4th Quarter, 6:49 – Ravens 28-13: If it didn’t before, now it definitely looks like it’s not meant to be for the Patriots.
Following their longest play of the game, a 36-yard pass to Welker to get to the Baltimore 24, Brady’s pass to Hernandez was tipped and the Ravens come down with it.
That’s two turnovers for the Patriots in the second half.
Baltimore will set up shop at their own 16. While it’s not looking good, another 1-minute three-and-0ut by the Ravens would be just dandy.
4th Quarter, 7:34 – Ravens 28-13: The Ravens decide not to run the ball, and go on a one-minute drive. I guess they want to keep it interesting.
Flacco was sacked by Ninkovich on 1st down, and then threw two incomplete passes.
The Patriots have half a quarter to make something happen.
4th Quarter, 8:27 – Ravens 28-13: It’s not looking like this is the Patriots’ night.
As decent as the offense looked in the first half (decent might be a little kind), they have done NOTHING in the second half. Another drive stalls thanks to a Shane Vereen drop on a screen on 2nd-and-4, and then Brady can’t connect with Welker on 3rd-and-4 — with Pollard close to the action.
The Pats went for it on 4th-and-4 with 8:35 left, but Brady was under pressure, scrambled, couldn’t run for the first, and threw it to no one in the end zone.
There is still plenty of time left, but if Ray Rice gets going, that time could expire very quickly.
4th Quarter, 11:13 – Ravens 28-13: Ravens waste no time in turning the fumble into points.
Flacco goes back to Anquan Boldin, who had Marquice Cole on him, in the end zone for another touchdown. That makes it 21-unanswered points for the Ravens in the second half.
Stevan Ridley is also done for the night after suffering a head injury.
The Patriots are in a heap of trouble right now.
4th Quarter, 13:17 – Ravens 21-13: Stevan Ridley just took a shot from Bernard Pollard’s shoulder, and it doesn’t look good for Ridley or the Pats.
Ridley fumbled on the play, which Baltimore recovered. It appeared Ridley was out before he even hit the ground. He did get up, and made his way to the Patriots locker room.
It’s bad news that the Ravens recovered, but right now the real concern is for Ridley’s health. It was a nasty hit by Pollard, who has a history of injuring Patriots players. We won’t go over them, because frankly no one wants to hear about it anymore.
The play was reviewed and upheld. Ravens take over at the Patriots 47.
To make matters worse, it was Arthur Jones — brother of Pats’ rookie Chandler — who came up with the loose ball.
4th Quarter, 14:56 – Ravens 21-13: Now it’s really time for the offense to come out and score.
The Ravens wasted no time putting up seven more points, scoring on the first play of the quarter. Flacco went over the middle, up top to Anquan Boldin. The Patriots defense was there, but Boldin made a great play to come down with the score. He’s got four catches on the day, all in the second half, for 49 yards.
It was a 10-play drive for the Ravens, covering 63 yards and eating up 5:10 of the clock.
End of 3rd Quarter, Ravens 14-13: While the Patriots offense is sputtering, the Baltimore offense is making plays.
And while the Ravens offense is making plays when they need it, and the Patriots defense all of a sudden can’t make a stop when they need it.
The Ravens are knocking on the door as the third quarter comes to a close, and will start the fourth quarter with the ball at the Patriots 2-yard line.
3rd Quarter, 5:01 – Ravens 14-13: The Patriots offense needed to answer the Ravens touchdown, but didn’t do much of anything.
They picked up a first down thanks to a 3rd-and-2 connection by Brady and Woodhead, getting just enough for the first down.
But on 2nd-and-2, Brady went too low for Brandon Lloyd, and Nate Solder picked up a holding penalty to set up a 3rd-and-12. Brady’s pass for Aaron Hernandez was tipped away, and the Pats were forced to punt for the second straight time in the second half.
3rd Quarter, 6:14 – Ravens 14-13: Flacco went out of the shotgun for most of this latest drive, and it worked for Baltimore as they take a 14-13 lead on Dennis Pitta’s five-yard touchdown.
Flacco went 6-for-9 on the drive, with Pitta hauling in three of those catches. He caught each of the last two passes from Flacco, and was DESTROYED by Jerod Mayo on the play before his touchdown. It didn’t seem to phase all that much though, putting the Ravens on top just a few seconds later.
Ray Rice picked up 15 yards after he should have been stopped for a loss on a 2nd-and-10 early in the drive.
Third Quarter, 10:03 – Patriots 13-7: The Patriots were driving, but a Wes Welker drop on a 3rd-and-7 ended their drive and forced Mesko’s fourth punt of the evening.
Welker would have had a first down to keep the drive alive, but he didn’t haul it in. That could be all we hear about for awhile…
Brady was doing his thing on the drive, spreading the wealth to whoever is open. Lloyd, Hernandez and Welker each had catches on the drive.
Bernard Pollard delivered a big pop on Welker on his 2nd-and-5 catch, but it was Corey Graham who was whistled for a 15-yarder on the play (the officials got the wrong guy on the play). Pollard will likely get hit with a nice little fine for the hit, but the good news is he hasn’t hurt anyone yet.
Third Quarter, 12:35 – Patriots 13-7: Aqib Talib is on the sidelines for the Patriots, but their secondary is keeping Flacco and the Ravens’ receivers off the board.
Boldin finally checked in with his first catch of the day — a 26-yard grab on 3rd-and-9 over Marquise Cole — but the Patriots are starting to put some heavy pressure on Flacco.
The Ravens got just 25 yards on six plays, and really have looked lost on offense other than their touchdown drive.
Halftime – Patriots 13-7: WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid checks in with his second quarter thoughts:
– The Ravens have the ball to open the quarter and they are doing business. Joe Flacco hits Dennis Pita for 17 yards and then Ray Rice for 11. The big play of the drive is Flacco to Torrey Smith for 25 yards. The drive ends with a 2 yard touchdown run by Ray Rice. Patrick Chung is hurt at the end of the drive but walks off. Also Aqib Talib went out in the first quarter and he has not returned. He has a thigh injury.
– Pats first possession of the quarter and they answer the Ravens score. They use Wes Welker on this drive and they move the ball. They hit Welker on a 24 yard passing play and grind it down to the one with Stevan Ridley. Tom Brady to Wes Welker for a 1 yard touchdown. The Pats put up 7.
– Ravens second possession of the quarter and the Pats come up huge. The defense forces a 3 and out. Rob Ninkovich with a sack on third down. Ravens punt. It’s worth mentioning, Wes Welker has been returning punts and he has given the Pats great field position all game long.
– Pats have their second and final possession of the quarter and they end the half by getting on the board. Big play on third and 10 and Tom Brady hits Aaron Hernandez for 17 yards. On the next play, time winding down, Brady runs for three yards but waits for whatever reason to take the time out. They get a 25 yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski to end the half.
Halftime – Patriots 13-7: The Patriots mismanaged the clock and only get a field goal before the half, but they put up a few more points knowing the Ravens will get the ball to start the second half.
After Brady was boxed out by an official on a 2nd-and-5 run, the Patriots kept their drive alive thanks to Danny Woodhead. He only got two yards on 3rd-and-3, but with Brady still calling the play, took a direct snap on seven yards on fourth down to keep the drive going.
A few plays later, with Brady under pressure on 3rd down, he hit Aaron Hernandez for 17 yards — though Hernandez stayed in bounds on the play and the clock kept ticking.
Brady had to keep it himself a few plays later and it ended up costing New England a few precious seconds. So instead of having a shot at the end zone, they had to settle for a 25-yarder from Gostkowski as time expired.
It wasn’t a pretty first half, but the Patriots have the lead heading into the locker room. Brady finished the half 14-for-24 with 139 yards and a touchdown, with Hernandez doing the most damage with seven catches for 67 yards.
2nd Quarter, 3:10 – Patriots 10-7: The Patriots didn’t get to Joe Flacco at all back in Week 3, but Rob Ninkovich made sure that didn’t happen again with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Ninkovich got to Flacco on 3rd-and-6, his first sack of the playoffs. He’s already got five tackles in this one after recording just four last week against the Texans.
2nd Quarter, 4:18 – Patriots 10-7: The way this game is going, the Patriots needed to come out and respond with a touchdown of their own.
Thanks to the no-huddle, they did just that.
Brady and the Patriots marched 79 yards down the field, capping things off with a one-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker on 3rd-and-goal.
Earlier in the drive, Brady saw a Baltimore blitz coming on 1st-and-10, and audibled out to a play-action screen to Welker that went for 24 yards and set the Patriots up at the Baltimore 15.
Brandon Lloyd also came up with another catch, hauling in a screen from Brady and picking up three yards after the catch for the first down. That’s right, yards after the catch for Brandon Lloyd. He’s doing it all tonight.
2nd Quarter, 9:28 – Ravens 7-3: The Ravens put together a sold drive to start the second quarter, with Joe Flacco leading the way down field and Ray Rice putting the icing on the cake.
Flacco hit Torrey Smith on a deep play-action pass over the middle of the field for 26 yards on 2nd-and-6, the first reception by a Ravens receiver of the day. A few plays later, Rice marched in from 2 yards out to give the Ravens a 7-3 lead. Rice made some nice moves at the line to find his way into the end zone.
It was a 13-play drive by the Ravens, covering 90-yard in 5:51.
Safety Patrick Chung was injured on the play, and with Talib’s return questionable another injury would leave the secondary very thin.
End of 1st Quarter – Patriots 3-0: It’s been a battle of field position early in this one, and for now the Patriots are on top.
After one quarter, Tom Brady is 8-for-15 for 80 yards. He’s gone to Aaron Hernandez six times, with the tight end catching five of those passes for 43 yards. Brandon Lloyd has three catches for 37 yards.
On the defense, according to CBS, Corner Aqib Talib is questionable to return with a thigh injury.
WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid passed along a few of his thoughts from the first quarter:
– Pats get the first possession of the game and it’s clear that they are trying to establish the run. Handing off the ball to Stevan Ridley right of the back. The Pats try and go long on third and short and the ball was just out of the reach of Wes Welker. They go to punt and fake it and force the Ravens to burn a time out. They eventually punt the ball away.
– Ravens first possession of the game and it was a quick one. The Pats defense force them into a 3 and out. Ray Rice was featured on every down.
– Pats second possession of the quarter for the Pats and they get on the board. They use Aaron Hernandez on this drive. He’s in the passing game and even runs an end around. Brandon Lloyd also chips in and picks up quality yards on passing plays of 13 and 16. The drive stalls at the 12 and Stephen Gostkowski nails a 31 yarder to put the Pats on the board.
– Ravens second possession of the quarter and they are still searching for their offense. They get a first down on the first play of the drive, 17 yard pass to Vonta Leach. Then the defense shuts them out. Aqib Talib with a solid play on third down. Also, give the crowd some love, they caused a false start.
– Pats third possession of the quarter and they too are trying to find a rhythm. They get a personal foul helmet to helmet by Ray Lewis. They end up punting the ball away.
– Ravens third possession of the quarter and much of the same. Nothing going on offense. They end up punting the ball away.
– Pats 4th possession of the quarter and they go three and out. On third and short, Brady locked in on Brandon Lloyd. Danny Woodhead could not have been more open. Tom needs to look he has the time.
1st Quarter, 1:14 – Patriots 3-0: No Talib for the Patriots, but they still stopped the Ravens and forced their third punt in three drives.
Flacco is off to a very slow start this one, right now just 1-for-6 for 17 yards. He had tight end Dennis Pitta wide open down the sidelines on 3rd-and-7, but his slow pass sailed through Pitta’s hands, and the Ravens were forced to punt again.
Welker returned the ensuing punt 28 yards to set the Patriots up near midfield.
1st Quarter, 2:10 – Patriots 3-0: The Patriots offense stalled once again after picking up a few first downs.
Brady hit Hernandez over the middle on 3rd-and-2, and got a bonus 15-yards on a penalty by Lewis.
But they stalled a few plays later, with Lloyd unable to pick up a diving catch on 3rd-and-8.
A Mesko 27-yard punt sets the Ravens up at their own 7-yard line.
1st Quarter, 5:00 – Patriots 3-0: Aqib Talib was all over Anquan Boldin on that last drive, but unfortunately he may not be for much longer.
First, the good news. The Ravens tried the deep ball we’ve been hearing about all week, but Flacco overthrew Boldin down the field with Talib on him. After a false start on the ensuing 3rd-and-8, Flacco went to Bolden over the middle but it was broken up by Talib.
There is some cause for concern though, as Talib hobbled off the field grabbing his hamstring. He was later seen heading to the Patriots locker room.
The Patriots D, although not on the field for all that long so far, could certainly use a nice, long drive by the Patriots offense.
1st Quarter, 6:21 – Patriots 3-0: Brandon Lloyd may not grab yards after the catch, but as long as he makes them past the chains, it shouldn’t matter.
Lloyd came up with a huge grab over the middle on 3rd-and-2, holding for a 13-yard gain despite taking a huge shot from Ed Reed (no word if Bill Belichick took a note to later complimented Reed on the hit). He made another big catch on 2nd-and-9, going down field for another 16 yards. Add in an 8-yard catch to start the drive off, and Lloyd has 37 yards right off the bat.
But the Patriots stalled before they could get inside the 10-yard line. After a Hernandez end-around that picked up six yards and brought New England to the Ravens’ 12-yard line, Ridley was stuffed on 3rd-and-2 and the Patriots had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
For the Pats, it was a 13 play drive that covered 67 yards in 5:03. The offense was able to march down the field, they just need to get into the end zone from here on out.
1st Quarter, 11:41 – 0-0: The Ravens go three-and-out in their first drive, with Ray Rice the focal point of their first three plays.
He ran for a pair of yards on 1st down, four more up the middle on 2nd, but Flacco couldn’t connect on a screen on third down to set up a Ravens punt.
There was no Chandler Jones on the field for Baltimore’s first drive. It was Rob Ninkovich on the right side with Kyle Love and Justin Francis over on the left.
Elsewhere on D, Aqib Talib was on Anquan Boldin for first down and then switched over to Torrey Smith for third down.
1st Quarter, 12:57 – 0-0: The Patriots went no-huddle right out of the gate, and picked up yards on five of their first six plays.
The only problem was they didn’t pick up anything on 3rd-and-2, with Brady going deep through Wes Welker’s hands down field. It looked similar to a play from last season, but we won’t go any further into that.
But the Patriots forced the Ravens to burn an early time out, with backup Ryan Mallett on the field with the punt unit. The Pats then punted after the timeout, with Zoltan Mesko delivering a solid 45-yard boot to the Ravens 12-yard line.
Stevan Ridley had the legs going on the drive, picking up 13 yards on his three runs.
1st Quarter, 15:00 – 0-0: Justin Tucker delivers a boot through the end zone, and Tom Brady and company will start from their own 20-yard line.
Pregame – 6:32 p.m.: Kickoff is nearly here! The coin toss is out of the way and the anthem is being sung.
The Ravens won the toss with a heads call, and deferred to the second half. That changes things a bit for the Patriots, who love to defer and get the ball to start the second half.
Pregame – 6:23 p.m.: Ray Lewis is just doing his thing as kickoff approaches, firing up his Ravens teammates.
It could be the last time he does this, so Ray was reallllllllly fired up — as was everyone else in the circle on the field.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak said earlier today to exploit Lewis, with his aging legs and adrenaline pumping, with the short passes over the middle (what the Patriots do best, right?), so we’ll see if the Patriots do so early on.
Pregame – 6:15 p.m.: The 49ers are moving on over in the NFC, setting up an interesting Super Bowl XLVII no matter who moves on in the AFC.
Should the Patriots win, Tom Brady will be taking on his favorite team growing up as he tries to tie Joe Montana’s four Super Bowl wins. Not to mention the 49ers were the only team to actually trounce the Patriots — in Gillette — after they got off to their mid-season groove.
Should the Ravens win, you have the Harbaugh-Harbaugh match up. But we won’t go too much into that…
Pregame – 6:04 p.m.: WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid checks in from Gillette with a quick wind update:
Kickers for both teams were out early and checking their games against the wind. The wind is swirling, but in no specific direction. Both Stephen Gostkowski and Justin Tucker hit from 47.
The wind is not steady at this moment, gusting at some points and at other times it’s very still.
Pregame – 5:36 p.m.: We still have about an hour until kickoff, so here’s a little behind the scenes look to fill the time.
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager caught up with the CBS Sports production team at Gillette earlier this week, and has a look at all that goes into putting an NFL game on air.
The good news is they dodged a little extra work last weekend when the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos. They were already in town for the Patriots-Texans game, and you have to think they’re pretty grateful they didn’t have to pack everything up and take it to Denver.
Pregame – 5:20 p.m.: One thing that could be a factor this evening is the wind. We’re sure you’ve heard it howling all day long, and while it won’t be as strong as it was this afternoon, it’s still expected to be a breezy evening throughout the game.
We know how much the kicking game comes in to play in these Patriots-Ravens showdowns, so keep an eye on how the gusts play into the game early on, and how the coaches deal with it throughout the night.
Pregame – 5:10 p.m.: And just as we hit publish, the Patriots inactives are out! But there aren’t any names on the list that will have the fans too concerned.
Defensive backs Malcolm Williams and Derrick Martin, offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Marcus Zusevicks, defensive linemen Marcus Forston and Jake Bequette and receiver Kamar Aiken are all inactive for New England today.
That means running back Danny Woodhead and defensive end Chandler Jones are both active for tonight’s game.
Pregame – 5:05p.m.: We’re still awaiting word on the Patriots inactives, but here is the list of Ravens that won’t be suiting up for tonight’s AFC Championship game:
CB Asa Jackson, OL Ramon Harewood, DL DeAngelo Tyson, DT Bryan Hall, S Omar Brown, LB Adrian Hamilton, WR Deonte Thompson
Not found on that list are running back Bernard Pierce and fullback Vonta Leach who were both listed as questionable on Friday with knee injuries.
Pregame – 4:26p.m.: After a week of hype, predictions and hot sports takes, it’s finally game day.
Kickoff is still a couple of hours away, but after waiting all week what’s a few more hours?
The Patriots and Ravens are set to battle it out once again for a trip to the Super Bowl. These two have a nice little rivalry going over the last five seasons, with three exciting regular season games and two playoff tilts — a Ravens 33-14 win in the 2010 Wild Card Round and last year’s 23-20 Patriots victory in the AFC Title game.
Watch: The Legacy Of Tom Brady
The Ravens got the best of the Patriots back in Week 3, but as has been said all week quite a bit has changed for both teams since then. That loss sent the Patriots to 1-2 on the season, and if it seems a lifetime ago, it was. Not only has the Patriots offense found its groove — Gronkowski or no Gronkowski — but the defense has been solidified thanks to the acquisition of Aqib Talib. Instead of Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington at corner and Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung at safety, as it was back in Week 3, the Patriots send out Talib and rookie Alfonzo Dennard at corner with McCourty and Gregory holding suit at safety. That group will give Joe Flacco and his merry band of receivers a much different look than what they saw back in late-September.
In case you missed WBZ-TV’s special hour-long edition of Patriots GameDay this morning, here is Scott Zolak and Christian Fauria giving Steve Burton their keys to the game, with Zo slipping in an “Anchorman” reference for good measure.
Stay with us all afternoon and well into the evening for all the in-game updates and post game analysis following what should be another classic Patriots-Ravens match up.
Tune in to today’s AFC Championship game against the Patriots and Ravens on WBZ-TV, 98.5 The Sports Hub, or listen LIVE online at CBSBostonsports.com! Following the game, tune in to Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38 and three hours of post game coverage on 98.5 The Sports Hub.