Ravens 20

(4-2, 2-2 away)

Patriots 23

(4-1, 3-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 17, 2010

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 OT T
BAL 3 7 7 3 020
NE 7 0 3 10 323

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 292 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: R. Rice (BAL) - 28 CAR, 88 YDS

Receiving: D. Mason (BAL) - 8 REC, 100 YDS

Patriots pull off comeback to take down Ravens in OT

Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Four years after leaving the Patriots, Deion Branch felt like -- and played like -- he'd never been gone.

New England reacquired Tom Brady's old reliable receiver five days after trading Randy Moss and, with less than a week of practice, Branch sparked a comeback from a 10-point deficit to a 23-20 overtime win Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens.

He capped that with two key catches that set up Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal with 1:56 left in overtime.

"Tom and I have been away for four years and I honestly don't feel we missed a beat," Branch said.

He had seven receptions after the Ravens (4-2) took a 20-10 lead three seconds into the fourth quarter and finished with nine, the most he had in a regular-season game since catching 13 against San Diego as a rookie in 2002 after the Patriots drafted him in the second round.

"We've known each other for a long time, so I think the chemistry's there," Brady said. "It will be there."

The Patriots (4-1) won their eighth straight game after a bye. The Ravens' three-game winning streak came to an end.

When Moss was traded to Minnesota on Oct. 6, fans worried that the Patriots would struggle without their only deep threat. But Branch gave them plenty of reasons to forget those concerns and the team's embarrassing 33-14 playoff loss to the Ravens in the first round last season.

"You can't compare him to Randy, [Moss] is such a dynamic player," Ravens cornerback Chris Carr said, "but Branch has proven he can win."

Branch was MVP of the 2005 Super Bowl when he caught 11 passes for 133 yards. But he was in his fourth year with Seattle when the Patriots were dominated in last season's playoffs. That day, New England gave up Ray Rice's 83-yard touchdown run on the game's first offensive play and trailed the Ravens 24-0 after the first quarter.

"If we see them in the playoffs we will be ready again," Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis said.

Branch's nine catches matched Moss' total in his four games with New England this season.

"Not perfect, but he did a lot of good, like he always did," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "He got open and caught some balls. Let's not make it too complicated."

Branch's first grab in the fourth quarter was a 5-yard touchdown four minutes into the period, cutting the lead to 20-17. The Patriots then forced the Ravens to punt and marched from their 14-yard line to a third down at the Baltimore 3 -- with the help of four catches by Branch -- and settled for Gostkowski's 24-yard tying field goal with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter.

"I'm used to being in the situation in this game with [Brady]," Branch said. "I haven't felt this way in four years."

In overtime, the Ravens punted three times and the Patriots punted twice. The winning drive started at the New England 38 and Brady immediately went to Branch for a 23-yard gain on the first play. A 10-yard completion to Branch produced a first down at the Ravens 21 and Gostkowski kicked the winning field goal after two runs by BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

"It's very rewarding to be the last person to touch the ball and walk off winners," Gostkowski said.

Branch finished with 98 yards receiving.

"He's going to give you his all and run great routes and be in the right spot," Wes Welker said. "He's a very accountable guy."

Brady completed 27 of 44 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown. For the Ravens, Joe Flacco completed 27 of 35 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns.

"It's tough when you think you have the game won," Flacco said.

Baltimore scored on its opening drive, as it did in the playoff game, but needed 15 plays before Billy Cundiff kicked a 26-yard field goal. After the teams exchanged punts, Green-Ellis put New England ahead with a 2-yard touchdown run.

The Ravens took a 10-7 halftime lead after Flacco's 16-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap then made it 17-7 when Flacco connected on a 5-yarder to Anquan Boldin that was set up by Carr's interception.

Field goals Gostkowski of 38 yards and Cundiff of 25 yards left Baltimore with a 20-10 lead with seven seconds gone in the fourth quarter.

Then the Patriots charged back.

"They went to the no-huddle," Ravens safety Dawan Landry said. "They weren't trying to take big shots [downfield]. They kept moving the chains."

Midway through the first half, Heap left the game after being hit on a helmet-to-helmet collision with safety Brandon Meriweather, who was penalized. Heap lay on the ground for several minutes, left the game but returned before intermission.

In the second half, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman left the game with a head injury.

Game notes

Linebacker Jerod Mayo led the Patriots with 18 tackles. Lewis had nine for the Ravens. ... Flacco set a Ravens franchise record for career yards passing with 7,985 in his 38th game, passing Kyle Boller, who had 7,846 in 53 games. ... New England is 6-0 against Baltimore in the regular season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2123
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7273
Total Yards377394
Yards per play5.25.4
Total Drives1314
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-32-5
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

balFG6:32Billy Cundiff 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 15 plays, 81 yds, 8:32
neTD0:29Benjarvus Green-Ellis 2 Yard Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 66 yds, 3:08
balTD11:53Todd Heap 16 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 73 yds, 3:38
balTD10:28Anquan Boldin 25 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 36 yds, 1:19
neFG6:44Stephen Gostkowski 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 60 yds, 3:43
balFG14:57Billy Cundiff 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 84 yds, 6:47
neTD11:08Deion Branch 5 Yard Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 60 yds, 3:51
neFG1:54Stephen Gostkowski 24 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 80 yds, 6:50
neFG2:00Stephen Gostkowski 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 45 yds, 3:23

Research Notes

Ray Rice struggled to exploit a Patriots rush defense that ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per carry allowed on carries to the right side entering Sunday's game. New England's rush defense was allowing 7.67 yards per carry to the right side and could have had a long day if Baltimore would have taken advantage. However, of Ray Rice's 28 carries and 88 yards on the ground, just 4 rushes for 11 yards came over the right guard or toward the sideline.
Joe Flacco performed to a higher level in an area where he has not been very strong this season. Flacco entered the game ranked 29th in the NFL in passer rating on sideline throws and finished 13 of 16 for 155 yards and a touchdown to the edge on Sunday. Most of that might be the result of a New England secondary that ranks last in completion percentage allowed and 30th in the NFL in passer rating against on sideline throws in 2010.
While New England may have been adjusting for the first time without deep-threat Randy Moss on Sunday, Joe Flacco was nearly perfect on the deep ball for the Ravens. On passes of 10 yards or more downfield, Flacco carved up a young Patriots secondary that has struggled to find itself to begin this season.
Joe Flacco continued his stellar season passing out of play action, accumulating 170 yards and eight first downs.
The Patriots struggled all day with the pass defense. However, they achieved moderate success when sending three pass rushers against Joe Flacco, holding him to 81 yards and one throw downfield of 18 yards.
Brady was only 3-10 for 34 yards on 3rd down, and failed to record a 3rd down completion inside the numbers for the first time since Week 1 of 2008 (Brady's first-quarter knee injury against the Chiefs). Patriots receiver Wes Welker was a nonfactor on 3rd down, as Brady was 0-4 with an interception targeting Welker. The last time Welker failed to register a catch on 3rd down was Week 1 of 2009 against Buffalo.
Brady continued to have success with a personnel grouping involving 2 wide receivers and two tight ends with a single running back on the field. This technique worked due to the large variety of targets Brady used-a total of 8 different receivers.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't have the success throwing inside the numbers he had enjoyed in his first four games. While the absence of Randy Moss will likely be blamed for Brady's struggle; however, when Brandon Tate lined up outside the numbers, Brady had his usual level of success. Tate's presence had the same effect Moss' did, opening up the middle of the field for the rest of Brady's receivers, but the Patriots just didn't use him as often.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady enjoyed his first game back with old friend Deion Branch, connecting with Branch on 9 of the 12 passes thrown his way in the game. Brady only completed 56.2 percent of his passes to the rest of his receivers, and Branch's 2 catches on 3rd down were a team high, including his 5-yard touchdown catch in the 4th quarter.

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