After the snow that cruised through the Northeast yesterday, New England Patriots Gillette Stadium finally got cleared as they host the Baltimore Ravens. The Baltimore Ravens defense has their work cut for them as they are facing the first-ranked post-season quarterback in rating with 137.6, New England Patriots Tom Brady. Can the third-ranked Ravens defense during the regular season stem the second-ranked offensive juggernaut? Can we have a post-drug-filled rock star in Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler not sing the national anthem in a post-season game?
Now to the post-game analysis:
- With receptions to his wideout Julian Edelman, establishing the run with running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis and an unfortunate penalty for the Baltimore Ravens, Tom Brady’s drive stalled on the Ravens 11-yard line, and kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 29-yard field goal to bring the score 3-0 at 5:52 in the first quarter.
- After an interception of Tom Brady by Ravens cornerback Ladarius Webb and a hearty 40-yard pass to his wideout Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco‘s drive stalled on the Patriots 3-yard line. Their kicker Billy Cundiff booted an easy 2o-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 with 14:23 in the second quarter.
- After a 20-yard pass to his tight end Rob Gronkowski and a facemask penalty on the Baltimore Ravens, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran in for a 7-yard touchdown to bring the score 10-3 with 10:40 in the second quarter.
- After a 20-yard pass to Lee Evans and a 37-yard pass to Anquan Boldin, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco established rhythm against the Patriots defense and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to his tight end Dennis Pitta to tie the score 10-10 with 6:11 until halftime.
- With yet another drive stalled for the New England Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 35-yard field goal to bring the score 13-10 with 3:04 left in the second quarter.
- Continuing the same theme from the second quarter and much of the game, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 24-yard field goal to bring the score 16-10 with 9:09 in the third quarter.
- With a quick 29-yard touchdown reception from wideout Torrey Smith, the Baltimore Ravens took a one-point lead 17-16 with 3:48 in the third.
- With a fumble by running back Danny Woodhead on a run-back from the Ravens kickoff that is recovered on the Patriots 28-yard line, kicker Billy Cundiff kicked a 39-yard field goal to bring the score 20-16 with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
- After a slow and steady drive to the Baltimore 1/2-yard line, Tom Brady finally got into the endzone with a rushing touchdown to bring the score 23-20 with 11:33 in the last quarter.
- With the interception by linebacker Brandon Spikes and a 19-yard return and tip-interception to Ravens rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith in the endzone, these two interceptions were a show of defenses with eight minutes left in the game.
- With a 4th and 6 at the Patriots 33-yard line, Patriots nosetackle Vince Wilfork snagged Joe Flacco and forced him to throw the ball away with 2:53 left in the game. What a gamechanger!
- With the clock ticking away and Joe Flacco at the helm, the drive led by the 29-yard reception by Anquan Boldin stalled at the New England’s 14-yard line, and surprisingly, Billy Cundiff missed the 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the game.
With the first half in tow, the Baltimore Ravens were seemingly ready for New England Patriots Tom Brady had an interception. Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco demonstrated that he can throw against the porous Patriots defense and keep up with Tom Brady. It was a great first half as both teams traded blows without letting up. Surprisingly though, Joe Flacco outperformed Tom Brady as Flacco had a 122.4 quarterback versus Brady’s 58.7 into the half. The Patriots had the lead 13-10 at halftime, but the Patriots could not dominate the Ravens like they did with the Denver Broncos previously.
The stiff Baltimore Ravens defense imposing itself on New England Patriots potent quarterback Tom Brady and their offense in the second half. Despite the tide turning in the Ravens favor several times, the New England Patriots kept it close, and the defense clinched down when it counted most with 2:53 left in the game on Ravens 4th and 6 on their 33-yard line. Tom Brady and his New England Patriots squeaked this one out past the Baltimore Ravens 23-20. However, Brady’s difficulties with the Ravens defense won’t go any easier with the San Francisco 49ers or the New York Giants.
The next game is already up as the New York Giants face the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship game. Tom Brady will have will the Super Bowl win past either defense in Indianapolis. With 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and his clutch tight end Vernon Davis on one end and the Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his talented wide reciever corps on the other, this upcoming Super Bowl will be one to watch.