BOSTON (CBS) – There will be no return to the Super Bowl for the New England Patriots.
The Baltimore Ravens got some revenge for last year’s AFC Championship game loss to the Patriots, beating them 28-13 on Sunday to keep Ray Lewis’ farewell tour alive for two more weeks.
“We just didn’t do enough things well enough to win,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said after the game. “Give the Ravens credit; they’re a good football team. They just out-played us and out-coached us tonight. They just made more plays than we did. That’s pretty much the story.”
“It’s tough. It’s very tough,” said nose tackle Vince Wilfork. “But you win and you lose some. At this point, everybody wants to win – AFC Championship, playing to go to a Super Bowl, you know, you play to win. When you lose in this game, it’s tough, because you put so much into it all year: the offseason, the practice, the conditioning, the weight lifting, everything, time away from your family, training camp where you don’t see your family but a little bit of the time. So you put a lot into it, so for it to come to an end like this, it hurts. It does hurt, but it happens, you know? We can’t do anything now but to get better from this. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
It was a tale of two halves for the Patriots, who went into the locker room with a 13-7 lead. But they never added to that lead, and let the Ravens score 21 unanswered points thanks to Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half. Anquan Boldin had another huge playoff game, hauling in 50 catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots turned the ball over three times in the second half; a Stevan Ridley fumble on a big hit by Ravens’ safety Bernard Pollard, and a pair of Brady interceptions.
Brady finished the day 29-for-54 with 320 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
“Disappointed,” Brady said of his emotions following the loss. “We obviously didn’t play very well and if you don’t play very well against a good team, it’s not even very competitive. It’s unfortunate. We just couldn’t make any critical plays when we needed to.”
“I think being in the situation in the playoffs, it’s always an opportunity lost when you lose,” added Brady. “We feel like we have a pretty good team. We just didn’t play well.”
“It’s very disappointing, but we have a hell of a team. We know what it takes to win,” said Wilfork. “We’re going to fight our tails off in the offseason. We’re going to get back to playing the way we want to play. We’ll be back here.”
The Ravens will now play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on February 3.