Baltimore Ravens 28-13 New England Patriots

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Updated: January 21, 2013

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens put Ray Lewis’ retirement on hold as they earn themselves a place in the Superbowl, after a second half comeback of 21 unanswered points gives them a win against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game at the Gillette Stadium.

The Ravens won the coin toss, but they decided to allow the Patriots to receive the ball first.

As this game is Patriots QB Tom Brady 24th postseason start, he now ties Brett Favre for the most post season starts ever by a QB.

The game got off to a slow start though, as both teams had to eventually punt on their first possessions.

It wasn’t till the Patriots second possession did we see the first points being scored, as the Patriots had to settle for a 31 yard field goal by K Stephen Gostkowski.

It was during this drive though, that Brady broke an NFL postseason passing yards record, surpassing Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning for the 3rd all-time passing yards in a post season record.

Three drives later, the Ravens punted the ball back to the Patriots, which WR and return specialist Wes Welker returned the ball for 28 yards, giving his team good field position on their own 47 yard line.

However, they were unable to capitalize on this good field position as the Ravens defense forced them three and out. During this drive by the Patriots though, Ravens DE Paul Kruger had a chance to earn an interception, but he was unable to haul the ball in.

Nevertheless, the Ravens received the ball back and on the ninth play of their drive, their QB Joe Flacco threw a deep left pass to WR Torrey Smith for 25 yards.

Four plays later, the Ravens had their first points on the board as their RB Ray Rice earned a two yard touchdown run, the first touchdown of the day.

On the next Patriots possession, they travelled 80 yards in 11 plays, topping it off with a one yard touchdown pass from Brady to Welker, giving the Patriots the lead again.

The first sack occurred on the next Ravens possession, as Flacco was sacked by Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich, causing the Ravens to punt the ball as they went three and out.

The Patriots took advantage of this by adding another three points to the board just as time expired in the first half. The points came through a 25 yard field goal by Gostkowski.

This made the half time score 7-13 to the Patriots.

The Ravens received the ball at the start of the second half and on the third play of their drive, Flacco passed the ball deep left to WR Anquan Boldin for 26 yards to the Patriots 48 yard line.

Despite this big play, they were unable to benefit any further, as they were forced to punt three plays later. They did however force the Patriots start with the ball from their own nine yard line.

Brady produced a big play of his own on the fourth play on the Patriots next drive with a 24 yard pass to Welker.

A penalty was caused by Ravens

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SS Bernard Polland according to the referees, which added another 15 yards to the Patriots drive, allowing the Patriots to start their next play on the Ravens 36 yard line.

However, a drop by Welker on the seventh play of the drive caused the Patriots to punt the ball back to the Ravens.

On the tenth play of the Ravens next drive, Flacco passed the ball to TE Dennis Pitta for a five yard touchdown, giving the Ravens a one point lead.

The Patriots were then forced three and out, making them punt the ball back to the Ravens. On the tenth play of the Ravens drive at the start of the fourth quarter, Boldin added another touchdown to the Ravens score through a 3 yard pass down the middle by Flacco.

Patriots got the ball back on the next kick-off and on their fourth play, WR Brandon Lloyd performed a good spin move to the right, to get away from Ravens defenders and run out of bounds at the Patriots 39 yard line.

On the next play, the first turnover of the game occurred as Patriots RB Stevan Ridley fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Ravens DE Arthur Jones.

Thanks to this turnover, the Ravens asserted their authority on the game four plays into their drive, with an 11 yard pass to Boldin for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a two possession lead.

The Patriots were forced to turn the ball over again on the tenth play of their next drive as Brady was unable to complete a pass to WR Deion Branch on fourth down, causing the second turnover of the game.

The Patriots defense redeemed the Patriots offense mistakes by forcing the Ravens three and out.

It looked like the Patriots would profit from this as Brady managed to connect with Welker for a 36 yard pass. After this though on their next play, Brady’s pass for TE Aaron Hernandez was tipped by Ravens DE Pernell McPhee and intercepted by ILB Dannell Ellerbe, the third turnover of the game.

Nine plays later

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and the Ravens were forced to punt the ball back to the Patriots, but they managed to run down the clock by just under five minutes, just before the two minute warning.

After the two minute warning and on the ninth play of the Patriots drive, a pass by Brady intended for Lloyd was intercepted by Ravens CB Carey Williams in the end zone.

This made the final score 28-13 to the Ravens.

Not only does this win mean the Ravens are the AFC Champions, but it also means they will be going to the Superbowl, to play against the San Francisco 49ers on 3rd February at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in

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New Orleans.

This game will also be the first time that two head coaches that are brothers, Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers and John Harbaugh of the Ravens, have gone against each other in the Superbowl.

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Match report by Conor Porter

twitter – @ConorJPorter

blog – conorporter.blogspot.co.uk

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