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Sunday, October 17, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Patriots 23, Ravens 20

By Tim Graham

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots outlasted the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in overtime Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

What it means: The Patriots had problems competing at home with an elite team, but they were resilient. Perhaps it's too soon to what kind of difference the Randy Moss trade will make for the long-term, but Tom Brady couldn't find a rhythm until late in the game. He finished 27 of 44 for 292 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Some untimely drops didn't help him.

Hero: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was impeccable. He was 27 of 35 for 285 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. But the hero has to be Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who kicked a 24-yard field goal to force overtime and a 35-yarder to win the game.

Welcome back: Deion Branch scored a touchdown in his first game back in a Patriots uniform. He caught a 5-yard touchdown toss with 11:02 left in the game to draw the Patriots within a field goal. Branch finished with nine receptions for 98 yards. Moss made nine catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns in his four games with New England.

Cult figure: Patriots running back Danny Woodhead elicited the loudest cheers of the game whenever he touched the ball. He was New England's leading rusher with 11 carries for 63 yards and made five catches for 52 yards.

Trending: The Patriots' defense entered the weekend as the NFL's most forgiving on third-down conversions. They started off poorly, but finished strong. The Ravens converted five of their 16 third downs. The Patriots made the stop on a crucial third-and-1 at the Ravens' 47-yard line with just under nine minutes to play and were tough to punch through in overtime.

Injuries of note: Patriots safety Jarrad Page suffered a calf injury in the third quarter. He hopped off the field and didn't return.

What's next: The Patriots travel cross-continent to play the San Diego Chargers on Sunday in Qualcomm Stadium.