The New England Patriots needed two 14 point comebacks, and a trick play to come away with the victory against the Baltimore Ravens in a back and forth game. New England advances into the Conference round of the playoffs and will host either the Denver Broncos or the Indianapolis Colts next week.
The Patriots just pulled off the largest comeback playoff victory in franchise history.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 11, 2015
The Ravens played the Patriots tough, but two interceptions by Quarterback Joe Flacco in the end was one of the reasons why the Ravens were defeated.
The Patriots also only totaled 14 yards rushing on the ground, the fewest a playoff winner has ever had.
If the Broncos want to return to the Super Bowl they will need to pull off a victory in Foxboro against the Patriots, a place where they have struggled in the past.
A full game recap below:
The New England Patriots won the toss but decided to defer until to the second half and the Ravens would receive the opening kickoff.
Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense did not wait long to put 6 points on the board. Flacco led a five play drive for a touchdown. Flacco hooked up with receiver Kamar Aiken for a 19 yard touchdown reception.
TOUCHDOWN RAVENS!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 10, 2015
New England did not answer the Ravens scoring drive, and ended up punting the ball after John Harbaugh won a challenge that overturned a reception which would have gave the Patriots offense a first down.
The Ravens offense keeps on rolling and drives down the field on a 12 play drive that ends with Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco connecting with veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. for a 9 yard touchdown reception.
Ravens take a 14-0 after Steve Smith's TD on CB Darrelle Revis. pic.twitter.com/WQf0rPQIB9— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 10, 2015
The Ravens offensive line is giving Quarterback Joe Flacco all day, and he's not missing as he's currently 9-10 for 109 yards and two touchdown passes.
After a sluggish start to the Patriots second drive Brady connects with tight end Rob Gronkowski for a big third down conversion for the Patriots. The next play Brady once again hits Gronkowski down the seam for a big 46 yard gain. On a crucial third down play at the 4 yard line, Brady rushes it in for a 4 yard touchdown to make it a 14-7 ball game.
Brady runs it in for the TOUCHDOWN! #boomshakalaka— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 10, 2015
That touchdown rush tied Brady with running back Curtis Martin for the Franchises postseason rushing touchdowns(5) record.
The first quarter comes to an end with some potentially bad news for the Baltimore Ravens offense. Receiver Steve Smith Sr. who already has a touchdown reception is injured and down on the field.
Ravens WR Steve Smith is down on the field getting looked at by the medical staff as the first quarter comes to a close.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 10, 2015
The first quarter comes to a close with the Baltimore Ravens leading the New England Patriots 14-7.
The second quarter starts with some good news for the Ravens as Steve Smith Sr. returns to the lineup for the Ravens offense. A personal foul on receiver Torrey Smith stalls the Ravens drive and they punt the ball to the Patriots.
The Patriots come out firing once again but their drive stalls near the red zone after Tom Brady gets sacked twice in a row by the Baltimore defense. A small skirmish breaks out afterwards with Brady throwing a temper tantrum. New England is forced to punt the ball after taking the two sacks.
Moves like Jagger??? https://t.co/tIL1TxMvce— Peyton's Head (@PeytonsHead) January 10, 2015
After the punt the Patriots are flagged for taunting which gives the Ravens offense an extra 15 yards and good field position for their offensive drive.
The Ravens drive starts with a heavy dose of running back Justin Forsett who has been finding running lanes against this New England Patriots defense. However the Ravens drive stalls after a incomplete pass by Flacco on a long third down play. The Ravens punt the ball to Julian Edelman who has a nice return for the Patriots.
Stork who is the Patriots starting center suffered a knee injury and his status is questionable. This is a big loss for the Patriots offensive line who had issues at protecting Brady at times this year. Guard Ryan Wendell shifts over to Center for the Patriots, and Josh Kline moves to right guard.
The Patriots dodge a bullet in the beginning of their drive after Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley forces a fumble of Julian Edelman, but the Patriots recover their own fumble for the second time of the first half. Brady then connects with tight end Rob Gronkowski in a big third down conversion and picks up 23 yards and a first down.
Brady is getting hit almost every drop back. Not what Pats are looking for.— Don Banks (@DonBanks) January 10, 2015
The Patriots convert another third down and move into the red zone and are starting to pick apart the Ravens secondary. Brady then connects with receiver Danny Amendola for a 15 yards touchdown reception which makes it a 14-14 game.
TOUCHDOWN @DannyAmendola!— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 10, 2015
The Ravens get the ball back with a little over three and a half minutes left before halftime. The Patriots defense steps up and holds the Ravens to a quick three and out right as the two minute warning hits. The Ravens punt the ball to the Patriots who try to take the lead heading into the second half. Brady however is intercepted by linebacker Daryl Smith and gives the Ravens good field position and momentum.
A big pass interference penalty by Darrelle Revis puts the Ravens inside the red zone and position to take back the lead before halftime. After a pair of receptions to receiver Marlon Brown the Ravens are at the 11 yard line with a 1st and 10 with 16 seconds to go. On the next play Flacco splits triple coverage and connects with tight end Owen Daniels for a 11 yard touchdown pass to make 21-14.
Tom Brady isn't feeling so hot right now. pic.twitter.com/q0Ggl7oiGU— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 10, 2015
The Ravens head into half leading 21-14. New England will receive the ball at the beginning of the third quarter.
The Third Quarter of this game kicks off with the Patriots receiving the opening kickoff. The Patriots first drive ends with a quick three and out after Brady throws an incomplete pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski on a pass that probably should have been called for defensive pass interference. New England punts the ball away,
#Patriots injury update: Bryan Stork has been downgraded to OUT & will not return to the game due to a knee injury.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 10, 2015
The Ravens defense has been putting pressure on Tom Brady all game, and now Brady will officially be without his starting center for the rest of this game.
The Ravens start their first drive of the second half with two big first downs by Ravens receiver Michael Campanaro. The Ravens drive stalls a little past mid-field and decide to go for it instead of taking the 54 yard field goal. Flacco launches a deep pass to receiver Torrey Smith which gets them inside the 5 yard line, but a taunting penalty moves them back 15 yards. On the very next play Flacco hits Forsett for a walk-in 16 yard touchdown pass.
The Baltimore Ravens lead the New England Patriots 28-14 here in the early portions of the second half.
The Patriots start their next drive by methodically moving the ball down the field. Brady hits his blocking tight end Michael Hoomanawanui for a big first down play. A 12-men on defense penalty gives New England an automatic first down, and Brady hits Edelman for another first down putting the Patriots near the Baltimore red zone. A unsportsman-like penatly on John Harbaugh puts New England deep in Baltimore territory. Baltimore sends an all out blitz at Brady who hits tight end Rob Gronkowski for a 4-yard touchdown reception making it a 28-21 game.
Ravens tipped their blitz...Brady made em pay— trey wingo (@wingoz) January 10, 2015
The Patriots kickoff to the Ravens who get the ball at their own 22 yard line. The Ravens have a quick three and out and will punt to New England which will give them a chance to tie this game up once again. The Ravens punt the ball, and Amendola fair catches it at his own 30 yard line.
The Patriots reach into their bag of tricks on the next drive. Brady gives the ball to receicer Julian Edelman who throws it deep and hits receiver Danny Amendola for a 51 yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 28.
The Ravens gets the ball back, but two plays later Flacco throws a deep ball which is intercepted by free safety Devin McCourty. However New England cannot capitalize on the interception and go three and out on their following drive. New England punts the ball and Baltimore sets up shop around their own 20 yard line.
On the following drive Joe Flacco is strip sacked on a third down play and the ball is recovered by New England at the 2 yard line, but the play is negated by a Darrelle Revis defensive holding call which gives the Ravens an automatic first down.
Darrelle Revis has allowed a touchdown, been called for holding, pass interference once apiece— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) January 11, 2015
The third quarter ends with a 28-28 tie.
The forth quarter starts with a big run by Ravens running back Justin Forsett who is having himself a good game. The Ravens have a 3rd and 1 at the New England 45, but fail to convert it. Harbaugh leaves his offense out there to try to covert their second forth down of the game. Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak draws a good one and Flacco hits his fullback for a big forth down conversion. Justin Forsett gets another big gain and sets the Ravens offense up inside the Patriots 10 yard line. The Ravens fail to convert on a third and goal and will have to settle for a field goal. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker nails the easy field goal and the Ravens lead the Patriots 31-28.
The Ravens kick off and New England returns it to the 26 yard line.
A few plays into the drive Brady avoids the sack and hits his running back Shane Vereen for a reception but he fumbles the ball and Baltimore recovers it. However the play is challenged and overturned, and Brady sneaks the ball for a few yards to pick up the first down for the Patriots. Brady hits Amendola for a big third down coversion which keeps the Patriots drive moving. A few plays later Brady hits Brandon LaFell for a 23 yard touchdown which gives the Patriots the lead for the first time in the game.
Perfect touch on that TD pass. This game is bananas.— Judy Battista (@judybattista) January 11, 2015
New England kicks the ball off to the Ravens and Jacoby Jones takes the ball to the 21 yard line, but a penalty backs them up 10 yards and the Ravens offense takes over at their own 11 yard line.
The Ravens are methodically moving down the field and have a big third down and 3 with about 2:30 left in the game. Flacco stumbles and throws an incomplete pass which leads to a forth down and three for the Ravens. Baltimore decides to take their second timeout to talk things over. New England follows the Baltimore timeout with one of their own. Flacco hits his tight end Owen Daniels for a gain of 17 yards and another forth down conversion. A few plays later Flacco throws a deep ball and is intercepted in the end zone by Duron Harmon which seals the game for the Patriots.
New England punts the ball, and Baltimore gets the ball with four seconds left which leaves a Hailmary opportunity for the Ravens. The Patriots swat the ball away and New England comes away with the victory.
New England Patriots 35, Baltimore Ravens 31.
Tom Brady: Brady went 33 for 50 for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Rob Gronkowski: Gronk had 7 receptions for 108 yards and 1 touchdowns.
Duron Harmon: Harmon only had 1 tackle, but he came away with the game winning interception to seal the game for the Patriots.
Play of the Game:
Julian Edelman passes the ball 51 yards to Danny Amendola for a touchdown, and what ended up being the turning point in the game for the Patriots.