Game One – Ravens and Patriots – Divisional Playoff

baltimore-ravensSunday Morning in Australia is coffee and Football

First up in the Ravens and Patriots, I am tipping New England.

*First Quarter

Joe Flacco is going to have to be spot on in through the air to have a difference, they Patriot Defense love to cause issues for quarterback so pass protection is vital.

12:24 in the first and the Ravens are on the board. Flacco got good protection and was able to step in the pocket with plenty of time to find his receiver.

Tom Brady directing traffic for the Patriots and are going with a no huddle offense.

9:25 is the first flag – off sides on the defense

Crossing Routes seem to be working well for the Ravens at this point. Will that need adjusted as the day goes on?

It took 11 plays moving 79 yards for the Ravens to hit the end zone for a 14 – 0 lead. The defense causing the 3 and out with the challenge call which I think was the difference in that play.

N.E can not afford mistakes this series if they want to stay in it. I cant remember a playoff year when they were not in the hunt for a super bowl appearance. Offense is looking better and giving Brady enough time to throw and he has moved the boys now the field. Waiting to see what the Defense can do.

With a 3rd and goal it took a quarterback keeper to finally get New England on the board. with 48 seconds left in the first the Patriots cut the lead to 14 to 7.

Steve Smith for the Ravens down at the end of the first quarter

*Second Quarter — Ravens – 14 and N.E – 7

Thanks to a flag its 3rd and 21 – Flacco barely gets the ball off, someone missed their assignment that series. another mistake made it 4th and 19

New England is creating small holes allowing runners to get extra yardage. The pace is quicker but communication could suffer at times. Ravens defense sack Brady for the first time today, got him again, taking it to 4th down and 20. It would be a 53 yard field goal attempt. The Ravens defense rattled Brady on this play and the next series will be interesting to see if he can shake it off.

Edelman with the run for the first down was stripped but managed to get it back and keep the series going.

Brady managed to get out of being sacked and throw for the first down, with the help of a flag, it’s another first down. Its been a messy series, with missed tackles and communication issues. Its raining flags now and that could really pile up and be a sticking point later in the game.

3:37  – 10 plays moved 67 yards and N.E finally tie the score up at 14 all

It was a beautiful throw by Brady but it was a Baltimore Raven who picked it off. Flacco has used 10 different receivers tonight. 24 yard line, a pass interference call and moves the ball for a 20 yard gain. I do not know how Flacco managed to thread that catch but with 11 second left, Ravens take the lead back 21 to 14.

**

Third Quarter – Ravens  – 21 and Patriots – 14

Patriots with the ball for the start of the second half. Brady still is not throwing with the confidence I have seen him with in the past. 4th and 6 the punt squad is on. The refs missed a pass interference call on that last play.

Patriots need to cause a 3 and out to get things back in their favor. Flacco is under throwing this series and that need to change to get the security of reception better. Ravens going for it on 4th and 6 – Flacco launched on, made the connection to Tory Smith but flags on the play. Defense pass interference, unsportsmanlike like conduct on the offense. 1st and goal becomes 1st and 10 at the 16. A swing pass gets Forsett to get in tot he end zone untouched. Ravens extend their lead to 28 to 14 in the third.

Question is now can Brady get the spark back that he usually has and cut this lead that the Ravens built back? Patriots have gone back to a huddle offense, communication looks to have improved.

The huddle offense calling has played off with a 80 yard series cutting the lead back to just a touch down, Ravens 28 and Patriots 21. Brady was more patient that series and his throws seemed more on the numbers for his receivers.

Flacco back out and wondering if the Patriots defense can cause a three and out or has Flacco settled back down and able to get this throws to connect better for his receivers? Patriots caused a 3 and out, Brady and the boys are trying a no huddle offense with less than 5 minutes left in the third quarter. Trick play, 3 plays and 70 yards later the Patriots are back in this game, Edelman makes his quarterback debut tying up the score at 28 a piece. This has become a nail biter.

Flag on the end of the kick off return, it was another short high kick. holding on the receiving team, Second throw of the series and Flacco is picked off. 1st interception in 198 passes for Flacco. Now, can N.E take advantage of the pick off and turn it into a score? Defense was able to stand up and hold the line forcing the Patriots to punt on a 3 and out.

Ravens starting this drive on the 20 with less than 3 minutes left in the quarter. Flacco was sacked but there is a flag on the play, its defense holding with eliminates the sack and ball recovery. End of the 3rd quarter

Fourth Quarter – Ravens – 28 and Patriots – 28

Ravens starting at the own 47, Trying another 4 and 1 play they manage to get it and keep the series going. the 4th down play is a big call and in this case I would have gone for it myself. It is a gamble and the odds are on short yardage you can normally get it. Defense saved the touchdown and have forced the first field goal of the day. Baltimore by 3, 31 to 28 in the fourth. Now, can N.E settle down and take it down for a touch down. Silly mistakes and slowed things and Brady is having an OK day in my book but I have seen him play a lot better.

New England with the ball but the play is under review, was the runner down before the ball came out and the Ravens recovered. Patriots keep the ball. Blitz off the slot but Brady keeps the ball and gets the first down to keep the series alive. Brady just throw a soft pass which was pulled in for the touch down, 28 yards and the Patriots for the first time tonight have taken the lead, 35 to 31,

Flacco and the Ravens need to do two things here, one is to score a touch down because a field goal is no good and two is to eat up the clock, which would force the Patriots to need a touchdown to win the game. Its 4th and 3 and the Ravens have to go for it, taking a time out. On a throw by Flacco , a gain of 17 yards to keep the series alive but with 2:00 to go have they got something up their sleeve to steal this win?

Flag thrown with the ball on the 35, 5 yard penalty for off sides. Picked of by Harmon of the Patriots in the end zone. The final score is New England Patriots 35 and the Baltimore Ravens 31

The Patriots are home next week waiting on the winner of the Indianapolis Denver game

 

 

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