Baltimore Ravens beat New England Patriots 28-13 to secure place in Super Bowl.
Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes in the second half Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens rallied to beat New England 28-13 to reach the second Super Bowl in club history.
Flacco carved up the New England defence as the Ravens avenged a loss to the Patriots in last year’s American Football Conference championship game in Foxboro.
The Ravens advanced to their first National Football League championship contest since the 2000 season and will face San Francisco, who also won away from home, beating the top seeded Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in another come-from-behind thriller in the National Conference title game.
“Last year we came up a bit short but the guys came out in the second half today and made plays,” Flacco said. “We needed to put pressure on them like that and it worked pretty well.”
The win means Ravens veteran Ray Lewis will cap his career with a Super Bowl appearance. And two brothers will coach against each other in Super Bowl 47. John Harbaugh’s Ravens will square off against his younger brother Jim’s San Francisco team on February 3 in New Orleans.
“It will be a great football game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Two great teams squaring off, I can’t wait.”
Flacco sliced up the Patriot’s defence by throwing three touchdown passes after halftime, as the Ravens scored 21-consecutive points at Gillette Stadium. Flacco completed 21-of-36 passes on the game.
“Absolutely amazing,” said 13-time Pro Bowler Lewis, who says he’ll retire at the end of this, his 17th NFL campaign. “Our team is awesome. It is our time. Every man out there sacrificed for each other and we did earn our way to the Super Bowl.”
Anquan Boldin caught two of Flacco’s touchdown passes and Ray Rice ran for a TD.
Tom Brady set the all-time NFL record for career playoff yards, but he couldn’t get the job done when it mattered the most as the Ravens denied New England a record-tying eighth Super Bowl berth.
“Both teams knew each other well,” said Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty. “It came down to man versus man on a lot of different situations.
“They came up with way more big plays than we did. We needed to make those plays if we wanted to win tonight.”
Brady completed just 29-of-54 passes for 320 yards with two interceptions. He had one touchdown pass to Wes Welker.
One of the key turning points was when New England’s Steven Ridley took a huge hit to the helmet from Baltimore’s Bernard Polland and fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter.
Ridley immediately went to the dressing room for medical treatment and didn’t return.
A New England offence that had averaged nearly 35 points per game in the regular season punted the ball five times on Sunday, including three inside Baltimore territory.
Baltimore defeated the New York Giants 34-7 in their only other Super Bowl appearance.
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