(Sunday, October 4th)
Final Score: New England 27, Baltimore 21
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, as the New England Patriots held on to post a 27-21 win over Baltimore at Gillette Stadium.
Brady finished with 258 yards through the air on 21-of-32 attempts for the Patriots (3-1), who have won two games in a row following a hard-fought loss to the New York Jets.
After missing the Patriots' last two contests with a knee injury, Wes Welker had 48 yards on six receptions.
"It's been a pretty depressing two weeks for me," Welker said. "Finally, being able to get out there has been pretty good for me."
Randy Moss made three grabs for 50 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Joe Flacco completed 27-of-47 passes for 264 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Ravens (3-1), who were vying to start a season 4-0 for the first time since 2006.
Derrick Mason, who battled an illness all week, led all receivers with 88 yards and a touchdown on seven catches, while Ray Rice rushed for 103 yards on 11 carries.
Baltimore was forced to punt on its first offensive series of the third quarter. New England got the ball back at its own 14, and the Ravens' defense came up with a big play. On first down, Terrell Suggs charged around the right edge and swiped the ball away from Brady. The ball rolled into the end zone, where it was recovered by Baltimore defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.
However, the Patriots quickly answered on the ensuing drive as Moss hauled in his first TD reception of the season -- a 14-yarder -- to give New England a 24-14 lead with 2:27 remaining in the third.
The Ravens countered with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that extended into the fourth quarter and was capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Willis McGahee.
New England's next possession chewed up seven minutes of the clock and ended with Stephen Gostkowski booting a 33-yard field goal.
Facing a 4th-and-1 near midfield, McGahee was bottled up for no gain. But New England went three-and-out, and Baltimore began its final drive at its own 20 with about 3 1/2 minutes left to play.
Flacco guided the Ravens down the field, but on 4th-and-4 from the New England 14, Mark Clayton couldn't corral a pass that would have moved the chains.
"We're going to learn from it and become the kind of team that we are going to be this year. And I'm looking forward to seeing where that takes us," said Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh.
It was not a good start for the Ravens as Chris Carr fumbled the game's opening kickoff. Brandon McGowan pounced on the loose ball for New England at the Baltimore 12-yard line. The Patriots, though, had to settle for a 32-yard Gostkowski field goal.
The second-year quarterback out of Delaware led the Ravens on an impressive 15-play, 81-yard drive. Flacco found Mason six times along the way, the last one a 20-yard toss that gave the visitors a 7-3 lead.
New England immediately responded with a 14-play, 76-yard march that was kept alive by a roughing the passer infraction and featured a critical fourth-down conversion inside the five-yard line when Sammy Morris burst up the middle to the Baltimore one on the final play of the first quarter.
Following a false start penalty, Brady rolled to his right and scrambled for five yards. He then burrowed his way into the end zone on the next play to restore the lead for New England.
Later in the second stanza, Brady engineered a six-play, 63-yard drive consuming a little less than three minutes and ending with a 12-yard dash by Morris.
Leigh Bodden derailed a potential scoring drive for Baltimore, intercepting Flacco at the New England nine and preserving a 10-point advantage at the break.
"This team was a very good team, an AFC team and we needed this win," Bodden said. "They're a tough team but we were the better team today."
Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither was carted off the field on a stretcher in the second quarter and taken to Mass General Hospital in Boston for tests on his shoulder and neck, but did have movement in all extremities. He was injured on a collision with Flacco...New England has won all five meetings against Baltimore.
10/04 20:01:44 ET
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