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Pats just OK? Nevermore

New England proves its AFC contender credentials with a stunning comeback win over Baltimore.

Patriots (4-1) 23, Ravens (4-2) 20 OT

What went right for the Pats ...

1 Fourth quarter effort — Down 20-10 in the fourth quarter, the Pats desperately needed to step it up on both ends of the ball. Tom Brady found Deion Branch to bring it to 20-17, and Stephen Gostkowski tied it up with 1:54 to play.

2 Special teams — Again, the special teams unit played a major role in the Patriots’ victory. With his team pinned deep in its own end in overtime, rookie P Zoltan Mesko booted a 65-yard punt to keep the Ravens out of field goal position. Gostkowski was 3-for-3 including the game-tying field goal late in the fourth and the game-winner in OT. Time to start giving this unit the credit it so truly deserves.

3 Danny Woodhead
— Listed at a generous 5-foot-9-inches, Danny Woodhead is tough to find and tackle – especially so yesterday. Putting up 63 rushing yards and 52 more on the receiving end, he’s the first Patriot to have 60 or more rushing yards and 50 or more receiving yards in the same game since Corey Dillon did it at Tennessee on Dec. 31, 2006. That’s pretty solid
company.

What went wrong ...

1 The entire first half — It’s tough to score points when you don’t have the ball. The Ravens’ time of possession more than doubled that Patriots’ time in the first half, 20:56 to 9:04. QB Joe Flacco picked apart the Pats’ secondary, going 14-17 for 136 yards. Meanwhile, Tom Brady couldn’t stay on the field long enough to tie his cleats.

2 Pass defense — Flacco threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, buoyed by the fact the pass rush couldn’t do enough to get him into his oft-errant ways. Derrick Mason caught eight balls for 100 yards, with the majority of his production coming at the expense of rookie CB Devin McCourty.

3 Penalties — The Patriots came into Sunday’s game with only 20 penalties — tied for third fewest in the league — for 148 yards. Yesterday, the Pats racked up nine infractions, highlighted by a headfirst hit on Todd Heap.

 
 
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