The Patriots came out and tried to hurry-up the Ravens to death. While that didn’t yield immediate results, the grind starts to wear on the older members of the Ravens defense. The Patriots controlled the early going, but only came away with three points on their first three drives.
After a banner game against Denver of winging it deep and hoping for the best, Joe Flacco has mostly reverted to his checkdown habits since New England has focused on taking away the deep ball. Aqib Talib, the Patriots best corner, left with a thigh injury and is most likely done for the day, which reverses most of the gains that the New England D has undergone in the latter half of this season.
Baltimore then put together a TD drive capped by a Ray Rice scoring run to grab their first lead of the game. A Boston fan flexed at Ray Rice to let the running back know he’s not the only one doing curls. That’ll show him. New England responded to grab the lead, ending with a touchdown pass to Welker on a goal line coverage breakdown by the Ravens.
It’s hard to understate how old and done Ray Lewis and Ed Reed look today. If the Ravens lose, a lot of it is their icons’ burden to bear. Lewis committing a dumb personal foul on a helmet-to-helmet hit is his biggest contribution through 30 minutes of game time. Unless you want to count a tackle he made on a stop by a referee on Tom Brady.
New England had a chance to go up 10 points going into the half in the red zone with two timeouts, but terrible clock management forced them to settle for a field goal.