RB Ray Rice ran for an 83-yard touchdown on the first play of the game and the Ravens led 24-0 after 15 minutes of their 33-14 victory against the Patriots.
Said Ravens LB Ray Lewis, “To get started like that and to get us a lead, it’s kind of hard for
any team to jump out of the gate on somebody like that. You have to take your hat off to that young kid [Rice].
He’s played like that all year.”
Ravens LB Terrell Suggs ended the first Patriots drive with a sack and strip of QB Tom Brady to help set up a second touchdown in the first moments of the game.
The Ravens defense forced two more turnovers in the first quarter, leading to 10 more points and a comfortable lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco completed 4 of 10 passes for 34 yards with an interception, but he scrambled for a key first down despite an injured quadriceps.
Brady was intercepted three times for the third time in his playoff career, but Sunday was the first time the Patriots didn’t go on to win the game.
Said Patriots DT Vince Wilfork, “We didn’t play like it was a playoff game, more like a preseason game.
We would never get the job done with that effort we put out there.”
Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net New England writes that the loss proves that the “decade of the Patriots is past.”
RB Kevin Faulk accounted for 89 of the Patriots’ 196 yards and enters the offseason without a contract for the 2010 season.
WR Julian Edelman had five catches for 44 yards and two touchdowns, but Ravens defenders still said that the Patriots appeared to be missing Wes Welker on offense.