One down and one more to go. The San Francisco 49ers are in Super Bowl XLVII. All they need now is a dance partner. Will it be another Super Bowl appearance for the Patriots? Or will the Ray Lewis Retirement Party officially get underway. 6:40 – Patriots lose the coin toss and the Ravens elect to receive to start the second half. Big issue already. The wind is whipping around in Foxborough. Advantage New England.
6:45 – With the Patriots driving into the wind, Brady misses on a long throw downfield to Welker on a 3rd and 2. Belichick channels Super Bowl XXI and fakes out the Ravens on fourth down by bringing in Zoltan Mesko to punt…with Ryan Mallet on the field. Mallet goes under center. Ravens panic and call timeout.
6:47 – Now, Mesko will punt.
6:48 – Jim Caldwell might be trying to sell the Patriots a bill of goods. Two straight runs to open. Here comes Flacco throw…
6:50 – A bad one to Ray Rice in the flat. Punt.
6:55 – Patriots begin second drive with a couple of first downs into New England territory.
6:58 – Ravens hold on a 3rd and 2 from their 12. Field goal time for the Patriots.
PATRIOTS 3, RAVENS 0
7:00 – Ravens defense is struggling with Brandon Lloyd and keep getting into 3rd and shorts. Hard to win those all day.
7:01 – In other news, 49ers fans aren’t messing around.
7:05 – Gronk sighting. Must be killing him to watch this game.
7:06 – Again, Ravens starting slow in the title game…
7:08 – Aqib Talib breaks up a third down pass to Anquan Boldin…and pulls up lame, grabbing his right hamstring. That’s probably one of the more important injuries the Pats could suffer. We’ll see how that turns out.
7:11 – Helmet to helmet on Uncle Ray Lewis. I’d be worried about him as a Ravens fan in this game. In open space, he’s going to be an adventure.
7:13 – Ravens defense holds in their end on a 3rd and 8.
7:17 – Flacco misses on two throws to kill Baltimore’s drive. Talib isn’t back yet and the Ravens tried to attack with their tight ends. Punt.
7:18 – Patriots need a TD soon…
7:20 – Pats are killing Baltimore in field position battle…but only lead by 3.
7:23 – Messy quarter for both teams offensively. Patriots had plenty of chances because of field position. Talib injury could be huge.
END OF FIRST: PATRIOTS 3, RAVENS 0
7:26 – Ravens flip field position…Patriots only get three points out of their good fortune.
7:27 – Baltimore’s offense is in the red zone thanks to a grab by Torrey Smith. Looks like they finally realized Talib isn’t on the field.
7:30 – Ray Rice is in for six from two yards out.
7:31 – Mentioned this on the podcast…very easy to lose championship games in first quarter. New England had a boatload of third and shorts and couldn’t cash in.
RAVENS 7, PATRIOTS 3
7:32 – Co-sign.
7:37 – Ohhh. On cue. Talib returns but a bit gimpy.
7:40 – General Tom calls an audible at the line to hit Welker for 24 yards inside of the BAL 20.
7:43 – Brady plays chess while he catches the Ravens D playing checkers. A two-yard strike to Wes Welker for the touchdown.
PATRIOTS 10, RAVENS 7
7:47 – Talib isn’t coming back it appears. This thing is going to the wire again it appears…
7:52 – Rob Ninkovich sacks Flacco on third down and a Welker punt return puts the Patriots in Ravens territory to start next drive. Just three minutes left in first half. Ravens defense might want to make a play.
7:54 – Brady takes off and runs right at Ray Lewis and then is rub off the play by a ref. Smart move Tom.
7:58 – Patriots emptying out the tricks on Ravens in short yardage. A 4th and 1 from near the BAL 35 results in a first down run by Woodhead on a direct snap.
8:01 – Brady hits Hernandez for 17 on a 3rd and 10 throw with a goal to go situation.
8:02 – Brady runs inside of the 10 and then puts his leg as he is sliding and appears to spike Ed Reed in the process. Ouch.
8:03 – The karma police gets Brady because he tries to run another play instead of calling timeout right away. Bad move by Brady. Pats call a timeout with four seconds left. No shot at the end zone. Three instead.
8:06 – A quick word from former Eagle Brian Dawkins:
HALFTIME: PATRIOTS 13, RAVENS 7
8:20 – No Talib to start the third…Flacco’s first shot long to Smith is incomplete.
8:21 – Flacco throws it up for Boldin on third down and he pulls it in at the 50…a 26-yard gain.
8:23 – On 3rd and 12, the Patriots secondary comes up with a stop after the Boldin catch. Baltimore’s offense is slightly out of it today.
8:27 – Patriots go at it for the first time in the second half.
8:28 – A huge catch by Welker at midfield….and here comes Bernard Karmell Pollard. Welker survives the blow to the head. But 15 tacked on for the Pats.
8:31 – Ravens survive thanks to a Wes Welker drop at the BAL 20. Patriots punt, which is a bit surprising but every yard counts in this game.
8:35 – Flacco tries to air it out near midfield but the wind eats it alive. A 15-yard pass to Rice sets up Baltimore at the NE 35.
8:38 – Patriots have given Baltimore too many chances to stay in this game…
8:39 – Pitta gets baptized by Brandon Spikes for a five-yard catch…and then gets back up to make a five-yard TD reception. Ravens regain the lead.
RAVENS 14, PATRIOTS 13
8:45 – This game reminds me of the Seattle/New England game from earlier this season. Patriots getting about 500 chances to run away and hide. Now, down by a point.
8:49 – Patriots punt after a holding penalty by Nate Solder eliminates a first down catch by Danny Woodhead.
8:53 – Ravens already back in Patriots territory. Problems looming for the Patriots…
8:59 – Ravens methodically moving into position to go up by 8 at the end of the third.
END OF THIRD: RAVENS 14, PATRIOTS 13
9:01 – Touchdown to Boldin and the Ravens are up eight thanks to a 10-play, 63-yard drive.
RAVENS 21, PATRIOTS 13
9:07 – Bernard Karmell Pollard.
9:07 – Steven Ridley is out cold. He fumbled only because his hand hit his foot.
9:13 – Ravens capitalize. New England looks shell-shocked. Another Boldin TD catch puts the Ravens up by 15.
9:21 – That should be it for the Patriots. New England fails on a 4th and 4 deep in Ravens territory. Get ready for two weeks of awful Har-Bowl puns.
9:27 – Long Welker reception to the BAL 25 ends with a tipped pass and Ellerbe interception. Turn out the lights.
9:34 – Baltimore just running out the string at this point. Three minutes and counting…
9:36 – Welker drop was the turning point. Just for clarification purposes.
9:42 – I’m getting inundated with taunts through Twitter and texts.
9:47 – The Ravens are headed to the Super Bowl with another Brady interception to seal it.
FINAL: RAVENS 28, PATRIOTS 13