Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 41-7 loss to the New England Patriots
Before we look toward Sunday's season finale in Cincinnati, Childs Walker analyzes what he learned from the Ravens' disappointing home loss to the New England Patriots.
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4. The Ravens played one of their sloppiest games at an inopportune moment( Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun / December 22, 2013 )
This game produced a weird box score. Despite the 34-point margin, the Ravens actually outgained the Patriots and nearly matched them in first downs.
But it came down to one of the oldest dynamics in football; a team that minimized its mistakes shellacked a sloppy opponent.
The Patriots built a 20-0 lead on possessions that began at their own 36-yard line, their own 47, their own 36 and the Ravens' 43. Two of those were set up by Joe Flacco interceptions, the others by empty Baltimore possessions.
The Ravens gave away 83 yards on nine penalties. They let the Patriots get to a gimpy Flacco for four sacks and numerous other hits and hurries.
As we've covered, the story might've been different with a healthier Flacco. But he'd be the first to tell you that doesn't matter.
Because of all the mistakes, Tom Brady didn't need a vintage game to keep the Patriots in command throughout. He played restrained football, picking on the Ravens linebackers with short, risk-free throws. In fact, the Patriots salted the game away not on Brady's arm but with a sturdy, run-dominated drive in the waning minutes.
Give the Patriots credit. The Ravens gave them many chances, and never did New England return the favor.