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Tom Brady Leads Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI with 57.5 Qb Rating

Winslow Townsend Associated Press
Many critics blame Baltimore's kicker Billy Cundiff for losing to the Patriots in the AFC Championship after missing a 32-yard field goal that would have sent the game into overtime, but does he have to take all the credit? Two plays prior to the missed field goal, Lee Evans dropped a game winning touchdown pass that would have sent the Ravens to Super Bowl Bowl XLVI, he just couldn't hold on to it. Patriots' rookie safety Sterling Moore knocked the ball out of Lee Evans's hands but the veteran still had a chance to secure the ball.

I am not trying to put all the blame on Lee Evans or Billy Cundiff for the Ravens loss but when you play the Patriots in Foxborough, all's you can ask for is the ball at the end of the game, you have to play like a champion."This is the greatest team that I have been on, and I feel like I let everybody down," Evans said. "It's hard to sit here and accept how or why things happened, but it's the reality. It was a great pass by Joe and it was just a pass that was not completed by me. Nobody else can take the fall for that." The Patriots turned the ball over three times in this game while the Ravens only turned the ball over once. Tom Brady threw two interceptions and not a single touchdown pass, Joe Flacco threw for two.

The AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens game couldn't have started off any better than the way it did with 3 consecutive three and outs but it was Tom Brady who broke the trend by conducting a thirteen play, 56 yard drive that set Stephen Gostkowski up for a 29 yard field goal giving the Patriots the lead in the first quarter. Gostkowski was three for three on his field goal attempts for the day. Two possessions later, the Ravens finally drove down the field to tie up the score 3-3, but it was Joe Flacco who had to carry his team to get there. The Ravens were very predictable running the ball on three straight drives in the first half but still, Ray Rice and Ricky Williams averaged less than 4 yards a carry the entire game. Bill Belichick's game plan to contain Ray Rice worked once again, and the Ravens were forced to use more three receiver sets (something they aren't used to doing) in the second half. Up 17-16, the Ravens got their first lead in the game after a 29 yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith late in the third quarter. The Ravens used one of their special moves on the ensuing kickoff and stripped Patriots running back Danny Woodhead of the football, recovering and adding another three points to their lead, Cundiff hits a 39 yarder. Then, just before you thought Brady was done throwing interceptions on the day he throws another one on the very next drive. Ravens cornerback Cary Williams picked off Brady on a pass intended for Julian Edleman, but it was taken back due to a Ravens offside penalty (T. Sizzle)! The Patriots continued their drive and got into the end zone after a one yard touchdown run by Tom Brady on a fourth down and goal! Tom Brady extends the ball over the goal line and gives his team the lead back, up 23-20. With more than enough time left on the clock (11:29), Joe Flacco throws an interception on one drive, fails to convert a fourth down and six on another drive (incomplete pass), and gets no help from his offense when he finally leads them down the field in great scoring position with less than two minutes to go in the game. The Ravens choke twice on a Lee Evans touchdown drop, and a Billy Cundiff missed field goal that would have brought the game into o.t. The Patriots will meet the Giants in Indianapolis for a Super Bowl rematch on February 5th.