Patriots fall flat against Super Bowl-bound Ravens

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts – The New England Patriots tasted defeat for the first time at home when a Super Bowl berth was on the line and had no excuses after the 28-13 thumping at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Patriots entered Sunday’s title game with an imposing 7-1 record in conference championship tilts, including a 4-0 mark at home but came up short.

“Obviously a disappointing end to an overall pretty positive season,” said New England coach Bill Belichick, whose team won the AFC East title with a 12-4 record. “Tonight we just didn’t do enough things well enough to win. Give the Ravens credit.

“I don’t think anything was really as good as it needed to be tonight. (We) gave up too many points, didn’t score enough. I’d say we probably came up a little short in every area.”

Baltimore turned the tables on the Patriots, who led 13-7 at halftime before a 21-0 second-half whitewashing silenced the Gillette Stadium home crowd.

“I think we obviously didn’t play very well and if you don’t play very well against a good team, it’s not even very competitive,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said.

“It’s unfortunate. We just couldn’t make any critical plays when we needed to,”

Brady achieved a personal milestone as his 320 yards passing moved him past Brett Favre into first place on the NFL’s all-time list for passing yarding in the postseason, with 5,949.

“We just couldn’t string enough good plays together to get the ball in the end zone,” added Brady, who had to stitch together short passing plays given a lack of deep threats with dangerous tight end Rob Gronkowski out with broken forearm.

“They’re a good defense and they kept the pressure on and we just didn’t really stand up to the challenge.”

“We felt pretty good about where we were at halftime, but we just didn’t come out in the second half and execute very well,” said Brady, who threw a pair of second-half interceptions and whose running back Stevan Ridley lost a fumble.

New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, a five-time Pro Bowler, tried to be philosophical in defeat, but his burning competitiveness shone through.

“Somebody has to win and lose,” Wilfork said. “Tonight we just didn’t make enough plays. They made more plays than we did.

“It’s very disappointing, but we have a hell of a team. We know what it takes to win,” added the beefy defensive lineman, whose team had reached five of the previous 11 Super Bowls.

“We’re going to fight our tails off in the offseason. We’re going to get back to playing the way we want to play. We’ll be back here.”

(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Julian Linden)

Read more :
  • Robin Soderling out for “a few months”
    Robin Soderling has revealed that he is nowhere near making a return to the tennis court. The former world number four has yet to feature this year because he is suffering from mononucleos...
  • Kaepernick keeps cool to deliver 49ers Super Bowl spot
    ATLANTA - Colin Kaepernick showed he has the big-game temperament as he led the San Francisco 49ers on a record NFC Championship comeback over the Atlanta Falcons and into the Super Bowl fo...
  • Pune FC retains Under-20 I-League title
    Two brilliant goals scored by defender Henry Monsang in each half helped defending champions Pune FC retain the U-20 I-League title as they outplayed East Bengal 3-0. Meanwhile, Tata Footba...
  • Djokovic dream still alive after Wawrinka test
    MELBOURNE - Novak Djokovic survived an almighty scare from an inspired Stan Wawrinka in a five-hour, five-set thriller at the Australian Open on Sunday, reaching a 15th consecutive grand sl...
  • Glock leaves Marussia F1 team
    LONDON - German Formula One driver Timo Glock has left Marussia with immediate effect and by mutual consent, the Russian-licensed team said on Monday. They added that a replacement would b...
  • Pune FC take on Dempo SC with an eye of moving up
    Pune FC eyes defending champions Dempo SC irregular form to gain places on the I-League table at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi, here on Thursday. Eager to forget t...
  • Andy Murray relishing Olympic challenge
    British number one Andy Murray has claimed that he is determined to make his mark on this summer's Olympic Games in London. The Scotsman has been selected for Team Great Britain in the men...
  • Bibat fends off rivals, nails maiden win
    Michael Bibat ended a five-year long search for a breakthrough victory, fending off a slew of rivals in a wild, woolly finale to nail the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes crown with a two-under 69...