Live Blog: AFC Playoffs- Patriots vs. Ravens

The 12-4 Patriots host the 11-6 Ravens today in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. The winner advances to the AFC Championship and is one step closer to playing for the Lombardi Trophy. Baltimore has had success in New England, but the teams have changed considerably since their last playoff meeting. Can the Patriots execute and move on or will the Ravens impose their will? Stay with us to find out.

Welcome to Gillette Stadium for the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. We're less than an hour from kickoff so let's take a look at the inactive players for this afternoons showdown.

Patriots Inactives: RB Jonas Gray, OL Jordan Devey, RB James White, OL Cameron Fleming, WR Josh Boyce, TE Steve Maneri, DL Zach Moore

Ravens Inactives: CB Chris Greenwood, DE Steven Means, DT Terrence Cody, OL Ryan Jensen, DT Casey Walker, TE Phillip Supernaw, DE DeAngelo Tyson

4:00 PM- Tom Brady just took the field and screamed into the stands to fire up the fans; needless to say it worked. Gillette is LOUD already and it's not going to change. These fans and this team is ready. Thanks to the media for making the Patriots seem like the #6 seed this week, they made them angry.

4:30 PM- The Patriots win the toss and will defer. The Ravens offense will take the field first- game on.

4:38 PM- Awful, just awful. The Patriots defense looks like they've reverted back to 2009 and the Ravens walk down the field on five plays and score. Brandon Browner got burnt by Torrey Smith and the Pats may have to make an adjustment there. If the defense doesn't wake up, it's going to be a long night for the Patriots. Ravens 7, Patriots 0

4:50 PM- Danny Amendola appeared to make the first down catch, but the officials reversed the call. I can't knock the officials, the ball looked like it moved. Patriots picked up an initial first down but that was it. The defense needs to get a stop. Ravens 7, Patriots 0

5:00 PM- Well, I apologize for my preview because it's clear that the Patriots are scared of the Ravens. Patriots fans, you have a right to be extremely angry. The defense didn't come to play, it's that simple. Joe Flacco looks like Dan Marino circa-1984. Ravens 14, Patriots 0.

5:10 PM- Touchdown, Patriots! HUGE answer by the Patriots offense. On a crucial 3rd and 8, Brady bought time and hit Gronk to keep the drive alive, and then found him again to get the ball down to the 20; Brady with the touchdown run on 3rd and goal. Now, that's all well and good, but if the defense doesn't wake up (get a pass rush) then it won't matter. New England needs a stop, NOW. Ravens 14, Patriots 7

5:22 PM- The defense FINALLY gets a stop. The run defense is still struggling though, so they need to clean that up ASAP. Ravens 14, Patriots 7

5:29 PM- When you're in field goal range, taking two sacks that push you OUT of range is unacceptable. Patriots forced to punt. BTW- apparently the Ravens are allowed to push after the play without a penalty but New England can't. That seems odd.

5:36 PM- Good job by the defense, but once again, Justin Forsett is picking up easy yards on the ground. Julian Edelman with a strong return to setup the offense. Brady and the offense need a score here, preferably a touchdown. Ravens 14, Patriots 7

5:46 PM- Touchdown, Patriots! Danny Amendola made a strong run after the catch to even this game up. The Ravens are getting hard hits on Brady though, so the line needs to do a better job; Brian Stork hurt his knee and is questionable to return. Patriots 14, Ravens 14

5:53 PM- Huge stop by the Patriots defense on 3rd and 1. Why run a reverse when you've run it down the Pats throat? Strange playcall by Kubiak. The Patriots offense now has two minutes to gain the lead before the half. Huge momentum shift here in Foxboro.

6:03 PM- Terrible throw by Brady leads to a crucial interception. Gronkowski was open but Brady just made an awful pass. Once again, the momentum shifts.

6:09 PM- Awful PI called on Revis leads to a Baltimore touchdown. If the WR and CB are battling down the field, you can't call the penalty on one guy and let the other guy off the hook for pushing off. Brady throwing an interception might end up being the difference in this game. Ravens 21, Patriots 14

HALFTIME

6:25 PM- The Patriots offense needs to come out and score. If they get stopped quickly, this could be a rough half. First play- ugly; not good.

6:28 PM- An obvious interference is let go and the Patriots go three-and-out. Tough night for the Patriots and the refs. How can they not call that? When a 6'7 guy has his armed pinned down, it's pretty clear. It seems that the Ravens can play physical and get away with it but New England can't.

6:41 PM- I know it's still early, but that looks like the dagger. The Patriots defense has reverted back to their bad habits and they look ill-prepared. Is this on Patricia or Belichick? I'd say both of them. This is hard to watch and Patriot fans should be furious right now. This isn't talent, this is execution and heart. BTW- how about a blitz here and there? Baltimore 28, Patriots 14

6:50 PM- Touchdown, Patriots. Tom Brady led the Patriots on a strong drive to make this a one score game. The Brady interception and bogus PI call on Revis are looming large in this game. Ravens 28, Patriots 21.

7:00 PM- Huge stop by the Patriots defense; they now have a chance to tie this thing up if the offense stays hot and punches in a touchdown. Keep feeding Gronk, don't be afraid to go to LaFell and for Gods sake, try a SCREEN! What a crazy game. Ravens 28, Patriots 21

7:05 PM- Wow, just wow! Julian Edelman looked like he was catching a WR screen- nope, it was a WR pass to Danny Amendola. Touchdown, Patriots! This is one of the craziest games I've ever seen. Patriots 28, Ravens 28

7:09 PM- Interception, Patriots! Terrible overthrow by Flacco and McCourty picks it off. The Patriots now have a chance to take the lead. Craziness is happening in Gillette.

7:12 PM- What a terrible series for Tom Brady; two awful throws on 2nd and 3rd down and the Patriots get nothing out of the turnover. That's unfortunate.

7:17 PM- Huge holding penalty by Revis negates a strip sack and fumble recovery. Revis is in the midst of his worst game of the season. The PI was a bad call, but he allowed a touchdown and that hold is just a killer penalty. End of the third quarter; Ravens 28, Patriots 28

7:26 PM- The Patriots hold the Ravens to a field goal but they still look awful defensively. Revis got away with another hold but the ball was uncatchable. Ravens 31, Patriots 28

7:42 PM- Touchdown, Patriots!! Beautiful throw by Brady and a great catch by LaFell to give the Patriots the lead for the first time tonight. 5:13 to go and the defense needs to keep the Ravens out of the end zone. What. A. Game. Patriots 35, Ravens 31

8:04 PM- In one of the best games in AFC Divisional Playoff history, the Patriots escape with a 35-31 win. Tom Brady and the Patriots overcame TWO 14 point deficits to win; that is the first time that's occurred in NFL history. I didn't give the Joe Flacco and the Ravens enough credit leading up to this game, so hats off to the Baltimore Ravens. Flacco is cold-blooded, and to be honest, is a better playoff quarterback than Peyton Manning at this point. Wow, what a game. The Patriots are the second team in history to advance to FOUR STRAIGHT AFC Championship games. Be sure to join us next week for the AFC Championship Game from Gillette Stadium. Maybe my heart rate and blood pressure will be lower by then.

Final Score: Patriots 35, Ravens 31


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