The Ravens fell, 23-20, to the New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game, but the result could have been potentially worse.
After linebacker Brandon Spikes intercepted quarterback Joe Flacco’s pass to tight end Ed Dickson on an inside post route in the fourth quarter, New England opened the ensuing series from midfield. But Tom Brady’s attempt to quickly add to the Patriots’ three-point lead was extinguished when Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard tipped Brady’s bomb to wide receiver Matthew Slater and rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith collected the tipped ball before it touched the turf in the end zone.
Pollard said moments before the interception, he and Smith had discussed a possible attempt by Brady to go for the jugular.
“Oh yeah. Jimmy and I talked about it right before, and I thought Jimmy did a great job keeping his eyes on his man and going up and making a pick,” Pollard said. “I thought that was really good. We pulled down four interceptions, two of them counted. So I thought offensively, defensively, special teams-wise, we did a great job today. We just didn’t come out with the win.”