Unbelievably, the Baltimore Ravens won again on Sunday and will represent the AFC in this years Super Bowl. They will face San Francisco who defeated the Falcons to match up two brothers at head coach. The amount of story lines in this game are plentiful, and Baltimore holds a large share of them. First off, lets talk about Baltimore’s path to this game. They dominated first overall pick Andrew Luck and their former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. They then traveled to Denver to beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a double over time thriller. Last week they shut out another future hall of famer in Tom Brady in the second half to win by 15. The final two games Baltimore were underdogs by more than a TD.
The first half of the game in New England was a hard fought battle. The Patriots hit the scoreboard first with a field goal. Baltimore were forced deep in their own territory several times after that, leading to punts on their first three drives. On their fourth drive, they started at the 10 yard line and chipped away at the Patriots defense for a 13 play, 90 yard drive. It was capped with a Ray Rice run of two yards. The Pat’s answered right back with an 11 play TD drive right after. After another punt by Baltimore, New England drove right back down the field. Then came a play close to the end zone where Tom Brady rushed and slid down to avoid a hit. The only problem is that he raised his foot into harms way, right towards Ed Reed. The Ravens did not take kindly to that, and forced only a field goal after that. New England would not score after that field goal.
The second half of this game was dominated by Baltimore’s defense and Joe Flacco. Flacco had 3 touchdowns while Brady had 2 interceptions. Joe, just as he has all postseason was nearly perfect. He hit Dennis Pitta for a score and Anquan Boldin twice with great touch pass jump balls up the middle. It was utter dominance in the second half, and not how people expected. Baltimore just seemed to want this game a little bit more. They put relentless pressure on Brady and the rest of the Patriot’s offense, forcing three turnovers in the second half. When the Ravens receivers were hauling any pass coming there way, the Patriots dropped several passes, much of them would have extended drives. Baltimore played the cleaner game, which led to the victory.