Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston talks about the Ravens 30-23 loss to the New England Patriots. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens had scored 17 consecutive points to cut the New England Patriots' lead to three when Tom Brady and company got the ball back at their own 21-yard line with less than seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Ravens safety Eric Weddle told his defensive teammates to expect a play-action pass, knowing Brady would immediately want to answer with a big play. That's exactly what the Ravens got and the result was Chris Hogan's 79-yard touchdown reception that all but put the game away. The Patriots ultimately held on for a 30-23 victory.
Hogan sprinted right past defensive back Matt Elam, who was in the game because of injuries to Jimmy Smith and Jerraud Powers, and was all alone as he settled under the Brady pass down the middle of the field.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that Elam was not responsible for the coverage bust, but declined to identify who was at fault. Weddle, though, pointed the finger at himself.
"I should be there," Weddle said. " I told everyone that play action was coming. I move around so much that it hurt me in that play. It's just unfortunate that you have a chance to win the game and you give them a play like that. It wasn't so much them. It was us."
Weddle moved to the right side of the field, anticipating a pass to Julian Edelman. That left the middle unattended.
"It looked like [the play action] kind of held Weddle a little bit over on the weak side. Elam, it looked like he rotated down to our right," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We had thrown the pass to Julian a little bit earlier in the game, so it looked like they just kind of got stretched on that with the safeties. Chris split it, so obviously that was a huge play for us in the game."