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BALTIMORE - It was an eerily similar finish to the AFC championship just eight months earlier.

The only difference - this time the Ravens' kicker didn't miss on a potentially crucial kick.

After a methodical last-minute drive by Joe Flacco and Baltimore's offense - similar to the one Flacco engineered against the New England Patriots in the AFC title game in January - rookie kicker Justin Tucker connected on a 27-yard field goal as time expired to propel the Ravens to a dramatic 31-30 win against the Patriots Sunday night.

In January, then-Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff missed on a 32-yard field goal in the waning moments of the AFC title game, ending the Ravens' season and propelling New England to the Super Bowl.

It was the first pressure kick for Tucker, the rookie from Texas who unseated Cundiff during training camp, and the rookie delivered.

Overcoming a bad snap, Tucker split the uprights as time expired.

His kick appeared to be tailing wide right, but barely snuck inside the right upright.

"It's big, really big," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said of Tucker, who's now 7-of-7 on field goals this season. "To be the first game-winner like that I think it's something every kicker would cherish."

Flacco finished 28-of-39 for 382 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, overcoming a slow start to help the Ravens erase an early 13-0 deficit.

His third scoring pass - a 5-yarder to wide receiver Torrey Smith - trimmed New England's advantage to 30-28 with 4:01 left in the fourth quarter.

And after Baltimore forced a punt on the Patriots' next drive, giving the Ravens the ball back at their own 21-yard line with 1:55 remaining, Flacco led an 8-play, 70-yard drive that put Baltimore in position for Tucker's game-winning kick.

Flacco and the Ravens' offense rebounded from a less than ideal start.

New England outgained Baltimore 143-21 during the first quarter, a quarter during which Flacco was just 3-of-5 for a meager 10 yards with an interception.

The Ravens failed to pick up a first down during the opening quarter as the Patriots jumped out to a quick 13-0 lead.

But Flacco and the offense came to life from there, aided by the play of Smith, who played Sunday night even despite the death of his little brother less than 24 hours earlier.

Smith hauled in six catches for 127 yards and two scores.

His 25-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive that cut New England's advantage to 13-7.

Flacco hooked up with tight end Dennis Pitta on a 20-yard score on Baltimore's next possession, but Tom Brady responded by leading a long drive of his own which he capped with a 7-yard touchdown to Julian Edelman just two seconds before the end of the first half.

The two teams traded scores early in the third quarter before Stephen Gostkowski's field goal pushed the Patriots' advantage to 30-21 less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

New England followed by stopping the Ravens on a fourth-and-1 on their ensuing possession. But after Baltimore's defense came up with a stop of its own, Flacco guided a Ravens scoring drive that ended with his second touchdown pass to Smith.

Flacco was 25-of-34 for 372 and three scores during the final three quarters.

"I just thought it was fantastic," Harbaugh said. "It was elite. It's who Joe is. It's who he's always been."

The Ravens' defense struggled to slow down Brady and the Patriots' passing game, but came up with two big stops during the fourth quarter, including the one that gave Baltimore's offense the ball back with a chance for the game-winning score.

Brady finished 28-of-41 for 335 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

"Couldn't be more proud of this football team," Harbaugh said, later adding, "I hope that's who we are, hope that's how we're defined. I hope we don't have to do it this way all the time, though."

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