Sunday, January 20, 2013
Halftime: Ravens can't keep momentum
By Jamison Hensley
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The first half of Sunday's AFC Championship Game ended with the Baltimore Ravens trailing, 13-7, and coach John Harbaugh complaining that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady intentionally kicked safety Ed Reed on a slide.
Harbaugh really needs to be asking how the Ravens failed to hold onto the momentum. Baltimore took a 7-3 lead midway through the second quarter on an impressive 13-play, 90-yard drive. It was capped by Ray Rice's two-yard touchdown run in which he broke tackles from Jerod Mayo and Dont'a Hightower.
But the Ravens allowed New England to score on the final two possessions of the first half. Brady threw a one-yard touchdown pass on third down, and the Patriots extended the lead to 13-7 on a 25-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. The last drive featured a direct snap to Danny Woodhead to convert fourth down-and-one but it ended with sloppy clock management by Brady in the final seconds.
The Ravens have lost the special teams battle for a second straight week. Their starting field position in the first half has been their own 13, 10, 8, 10 and 14-yard lines. The Ravens get the ball to start the second half.