Sunday, January 10, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Ravens 33, Patriots 14
By Tim Graham
The New England Patriots crashed hard Sunday.
The Baltimore Ravens went into Gillette Stadium and pounded the Patriots like Keith Moon used to treat his drum kit.
New England lost 33-14 and never really was in the game.
Baltimore made it look way too easy. Running back Ray Rice zipped 83 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to trigger a 24-point first quarter.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was abysmal with four giveaways. The NFL's Comeback Player of the Year was 23-of-42 for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He threw three interceptions and lost a fumble on one of three sacks.
Hard to say how much of a difference a healthy Wes Welker would have made. Welker is Brady's compass, but the slot receiver couldn't help from his seat in owner Robert Kraft's suite, a pair of crutches nearby.
Maybe Brady feels little more comfortable and doesn't press so much with Welker on the field. But the Ravens were so thoroughly dominant, it's difficult to dispute the result would've been different.
Welker's slot replacement, rookie Julian Edelman, had six receptions for 44 yards and two touchdowns. But Randy Moss was a non-factor with five catches for 48 yards. New England tight ends Benjamin Watson and Chris Baker combined for two catches for 5 yards.
The Patriots had fewer yards, fewer first downs, more turnovers, more penalties and a shorter time of possession.
The Ravens passed for only 34 yards, but they still held the edge in total yards because they rushed for 234. Rice had 159 and two touchdowns. Willis McGahee ran for 62 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots rushed for 64 as a team.