NFL Game Summary - New England at Baltimore|
(Sunday, December 22nd)
Final Score: New England 41, Baltimore 7
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - LeGarrette Blount scored a pair of rushing
touchdowns and Tom Brady threw for another, as the New England Patriots used a
sterling defensive effort to capture a 41-7 decision over the Baltimore Ravens
in an AFC clash on Sunday.
Blount ended up with 76 yards on 16 carries, while Brady completed 14-of-26
passes for 172 yards for the Patriots (11-4), who took the field already AFC
East champions by virtue of Buffalo's 19-0 win over Miami and remained one
game behind Denver for the top spot in the conference.
"They're a good team and they play well at home," said Brady. "We've been
talking about playing better on the road and we made a bunch of plays,
especially on defense and special teams. It was a great win."
Logan Ryan added a pair of interceptions and the visitors denied Baltimore on
three separate fourth-down situations. Chandler Jones recovered a fumble
in the end zone for another score, and Tavon Wilson returned a Tyrod Taylor
pass 74 yards for a TD.
Joe Flacco threw for 260 yards on 22-of-38 attempts and ran for a touchdown,
but was picked off twice and sacked four times for the Ravens (8-7), whose
defeat handed the AFC North crown to Cincinnati, which demolished Minnesota,
42-14, earlier on Sunday.
"It's disappointing," said Flacco. "We're used to going out there and playing
well when we need to and when playoffs are on the line. We came out today
hungry and ready to go get ourselves into the playoffs or make our next step
towards it, and we just didn't do it."
Baltimore received no additional outside help in its quest for a playoff berth
despite the Dolphins' loss, as San Diego topped Oakland.
Ray Rice was limited to 40 yards on 11 carries, while Marlon Brown caught four
balls for 51 yards.
Down by 17 points, Baltimore turned the ball over on downs on its first
possession of the second half, failing a 4th-and-3 from the Patriots' 39
The Ravens' next touch was interrupted when a Flacco pass caromed off the
hands of Dennis Pitta right to Ryan, who returned the ball to the hosts' 8-
yard line. A review determined the pick would stand, but Ryan was down by
contact at the spot of the catch, Baltimore's 43. Stephen Gostkowski was later
good from 42 yards away and it was 20-0 for the visitors.
On the following series, Torrey Smith's 42-yard catch moved the Ravens deep
into Patriots' territory, but the drive came up empty when Rice was denied by
inches on 4th-and-1 from the New England 4.
Baltimore's defense managed to pin New England deep, then a 22-yard punt
return from Jacoby Jones set up the hosts on the Pats' 38. Though the Ravens
reached the 19-yard line, Justin Tucker pulled a 37-yard try just shy of the
left upright three plays into the fourth.
The hosts finally cashed in one series later. Defensive pass interference
against Steve Gregory on an incomplete pass to Smith gave the hosts possession
on the two, and two snaps later, Flacco crossed the goal line from one yard
away for a 20-7 game with 9:21 remaining.
The Ravens turned it over again with 6:37 to play after a Flacco pass on 4th-
and-10 from his own 48 fell incomplete. Blount capped the following eight-play
series with a 7-yard run to paydirt to make it 27-7 with 2:05 to play.
Chandler Jones then recovered a Taylor fumbled snap in the end zone and the
Pats led 34-7. Wilson added insult to injury and capped the rout with his
long pick-six on the Ravens' next touch.
A pass interference call on Jimmy Smith in the end zone against Julian Edelman
on New England's second series of the contest helped set up a 1-yard scoring
run from Blount.
Three plays into Baltimore's next drive, Flacco had a ball tipped and
it landed into the hands of Ryan at the Pats' 47-yard line. Danny Amendola's
34-yard catch-and-run on the ensuing series set the Pats up on the Baltimore
6, and Shane Vereen caught a 4-yard pass two plays later for a 14-0 game.
Gostkowski capped another successful New England drive with a 45-yard make on
the first snap of the second quarter.
The Patriots improved to 7-1 all-time in the regular season against the
Ravens, and 3-1 in Baltimore ... New England hasn't blanked an opponent on the
road since a 13-0 win at Buffalo on Dec. 28, 2008, while Baltimore hasn't been
shut out at home since Tampa Bay claimed a 25-0 win on Sept. 15, 2002 ...
The extra point on the Pats' second TD of the game gave Gostkowski 1,000
points, joining Adam Vinatieri (1,158) and Gino Cappelletti (1,130) as the
only NE kickers to reach that mark ... Tucker made 33 straight field goals
before his fourth-quarter miss.
12/22 23:44:11 ET