The Patriots drew first blood in Sunday’s reunion of the AFC Championship Game participants for the last two years with some assistance from a flag.
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith drew a flag for interfering with Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman at the one-yard line, setting up LeGarrette Blount for a touchdown plunge that gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead. Smith looked like he held Edelman earlier in the route and the late jostling at the end of the play, which occured without Smith looking back for the ball, definitely impeded Edelman’s chances at grabbing the ball for a touchdown.
Joe Flacco threw an interception on the next Ravens possession when Logan Ryan held onto a ball intended for Jacoby Jones that linebacker Donta’ Hightower deflected in his own failed attempt at an interception. Tom Brady hit Danny Amendola for 34 yards on third down and Shane Vereen caught a three-yard scoring pass from Brady a couple of plays later to extend the lead to 14-0.
There’s still plenty of time to play in Baltimore, but the Ravens would be advised not to keep spotting the Patriots more points before scoring a few of their own.