How the Patriots and Ravens game really went down Sunday night:
8:28-After a moment of silence for Torrey Smith’s brother (who died this morning in a motorcycle accident) and NFL Films’ Steve Sabol, Javier Colon plays the national anthem on a guitar. No clue who that is, maybe Bartolo Colon’s brother?
8:32-Wes Welker is in the starting lineup montage but New England opens with three tight ends so he’s not on the field. Brandon Lloyd with a 12-yard catch on the first play.
8:33-Tom Brady wasn’t ready for the ball but Ryan Wendell snapped it anyway, somewhere in Denver Dan Koppen chuckles. On 3rd down, Brady gets sacked. What a start for this shaky offensive line. At this point, they should give Brian Waters anything his heart desires.
8:38-Pats defense gets a 3 and out on the Ravens’ first possession. Good way to answer for them.
8:42-59-yard catch and run by Welker, he’s back? One thing is for sure, Edelman doesn’t make that play.
8:44-Big skirmish after the play, luckily the replacement refs do nothing. I’m sure that’ll settle things down.
8:45-Edelman gets rocked by Ed Reed for what would have been a TD catch. Pats settle for a 37-yd FG by Stephen Gostkowski. 3-0 good guys.
8:47-John Harbaugh’s 50th birthday today, it should have been a national holiday.
8:50-Steve Gregory picks off Flacco on Baltimore’s 1st play, same old Flacco. Plus, you can’t throw on Gregory, everybody knows that.
8:53-Rookie running back Brandon Bolden gets a 2-yd TD run (1st of his NFL career). Pats up 10-0, sending fantasy geeks scrambling online to claim him in their leagues.
8:56-Patriots are 36-14 under Belichick after a loss. I like those odds.
8:58-Another 3 and out for the Ravens, happy feet Flacco was not feeling that pocket that his lineman gave him.
9:01-Haloti Ngota just abused Dan Connolly to tackle Stevan Ridley. Big 3rd down catch by Lloyd to get New England out of the shadow of its own goalline.
9:02-Hell of a catch by Lloyd, somehow grabs it and gets his both feet inbounds before being pushed out of bounds.
9:05-Ngota gets a personal foul call for a needless push of Logan Mankins, who Cris Collinsworth referred to as “the wrestler.” Somewhere Stephen Neal weeps.
9:07-Haha Collinsworth says “I don’t know” when he sees a replay of a penalty. Al Michaels adds “me neither.” Are you listening King Goodell? Welker has his customary drop, which is now a feature of every game.
9:10-49-yard FG by Gostkowski, he is money on these first quarter non-clutch kicks.
9:12-Cam Cameron dials up a deep ball by Flacco on the first play and it nearly gets picked off by Devin McCourty.
End of 1st quarter: Patriots 13, Ravens 0 and still looking for a first down.
9:16-Baltimore’s 1st first down comes via a pass interference on 3rd down that we never see a replay of. Cool.
9:20-Even the Raiders think this game has too many penalties in it.
9:23-Belichick is heated as the Ravens are measuring before a 4th and 1 that wasn’t close. I don’t blame him, this is a joke. NFL games now take as long as a Red Sox-Yankees game.
9:27-Haha Baltimore ends up winning the challenge.
9:28-25-yd TD catch by Smith, great moment for him and his grieving family. Ravens cut it to 10-7.
9:35-After a false start by Edelman, Rob Gronkowski gets his first catch of the game. End around to Edelman, I guess he does that better than Welker. We finally found a reason he was playing more than him!
9:36-15-yd catch by Edelman, he’s feeling it now.
9:37-Josh McDaniels gets too cute and tries another end around to Edelman. Shockingly enough, this time it doesn’t work, 13-yard loss. Great punt by Zoltan Mesko pins the Ravens at their own 8.
9:42-Flacco scrambles 5 yards for a first down. Big conversion in terms of field position.
9:43-Ravens have woken up, 41-yard catch for Jacoby Jones.
9:49-Some quality jokes from Michaels as a streaker runs on the field. People still do that in the U.S.? Maybe only in Baltimore. Although they said earlier that Michael Phelps was there and this guy was in a bathing suit so I bet it was that joker. He just wants his name back in the news.
9:50-Pathetic tackle attempt by McCourty and Gregory, rightfully called out by Collinsworth. Dennis Pitta with an easy 20-yard touchdown catch and run gives Baltimore a 14-13 lead.
9:54-I was wondering where Gronk went, 12-yard catch for a first down.
9:57-At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, Brady can’t throw the deep ball consistently anymore. He airmails one to Lloyd who had a step on his defender. Woodhead 3rd down catch and conversion on the next play.
9:59-Deion Branch makes an 11-yard catch, his first of the season. Welcome back! Welker with a 29-yard catch and run gets it down to Baltimore’s 7-yard line.
10:02-7-yard touchdown pass to Edelman, huge score for the Patriots. The PAT makes it 20-14 with two seconds left in the half. 35th straight game with a TD pass for Brady (4th longest streak in NFL history).
Halftime: Patriots 20, Ravens 14. That great drive made up for a whole lot of nothing for the Pats after they led 13-0.
10:20-Rice with a 15-yard run on the 1st play of the 2nd half. It feels like sometimes Cameron forgets he has one of the best running backs in the NFL.
10:21-Edelman went to the locker room early at the end of the 1st half and now he went back there. Something must be up, don’t know what his injury could be.
10:24-2nd first down catch on this drive for Smith (32 yards this time), he’s a man on a mission. 7-yd TD run by Rice on the next play. That was quick and easy, 80 yds on that drive for Baltimore. 3 TDs on their last 3 possessions, yikes.
10:29-Edelman is questionable with a hand injury; Lloyd with a 12-yard catch on New England’s first play of the 2nd half.
10:30-First Kellen Winslow target and he drops a catch that he needs to make.
10:31-11-yard catch by Welker, he gets over 100 yards tonight and the Patriots get a 1st down.
10:33-Lloyd 10-yard catch for a 1st down, Collinsworth claims it was the result of a push off but we’ll never know. Personal foul on the next play on Bernard Pollard (aka the guy that shredded Brady’s knee in 2009).
10:35-Lloyd is unstoppable on those 10-15 yard out routes. Another one makes it 1st and Goal from the 9. Woodhead is getting more carries than Ridley tonight, he caps off a very nice drive with a 3-yard TD run. Patriots lead 27-21.
10:39-Some owners are stars, others are not. I couldn’t have named Baltimore’s owner Steve Bisciotti if you gave me an hour. I bet he’s not best buddies with Bon Jovi and dating a D-list wannabe actress.
10:44-38-yard catch for Smith and he goes over 100 yards. This is turning into an offensive shootout, aka every week in the NFL.
10:46-I don’t believe it, vintage McCourty play from 2010 as he knocks down a long 3rd down pass intended for Smith. Maybe he’s not completely hopeless after all.
10:52-12 yard catch for Winslow, his 1st as a Patriot. The honks will be ready to put him in the Hall of Fame by next week.
10:55-Lloyd runs one route but thankfully he runs it well. One more catch should put him over 100 yards and he could have double digit receptions tonight as well. A penalty call on Ray Lewis? Now I’ve seen everything, gotta be the first of his career.
10:57-Branch gets drilled by Ed Reed but hangs on and isn’t hurt. 15-yard penalty for Reed since he led with his helmet, he’ll definitely be fined later this week too. Can Roger Goddell put that towards the old refs?
End of 3 quarters: Patriots 27, Ravens 21. New England will start the 4th quarter 2nd and Goal from the 8. A touchdown here might ice it, I don’t see Flacco coming back from down 2 touchdowns.
11:03-Nate Solder has a mean streak, that’s what you say since he kicked Ellerbe in the head on the last play of the 3rd quarter.
11:04-Webb’s tackle prevents Welker from getting into the end zone, Gostkowski’s 20-yard field goal gives New England a two-score lead at 30-21.
11:10-Ugh, McCourty drops an easy interception that would have been a huge play. Needless to say, he would have caught that two years ago.
11:14-Ravens shoot themselves in the foot, go for it on 4th and 1 but hand it off to rookie Bernard Pierce, who is stuffed by Patrick Chung for a 1-yard stop (at the Pats 34). Cam Cameron thought that play was bound to result in a score, Josh McDaniels agreed.
11:15-Lloyd goes over 100 yards, joining Welker. Thankfully we don’t have to listen to the Welker/Edelman talk for at least a week.
11:17-Another first down for Welker, he looks like the same guy to me. I guess he must have had a great week of practice (wink, wink).
11:18-I wouldn’t blame Branch for knocking out McDaniels on the plane ride home. He was set up for another kill shot, this time by Jimmy Smith on a quick pass.
11:20-Incomplete pass from Brady to Woodhead on 3rd down so the Ravens get it back at their own 8 following another great punt by Mesko.
11:23-Jermaine Cunningham drew the 2nd holding penalty on Marshall Yanda tonight. First one was when he was blocking Vince Wilfork.
11:25-I give up, I can’t bother to make anymore jokes about the replacement refs. Get the real guys back as soon as possible please.
11:29-A hold on Brandon Spikes negates a sack by Kyle Love.
11:30-That was an NBA style drive by the Ravens, the refs were determined to give them a score. Smith’s 5-yard TD catch (2nd of the night) comes after he stiff-armed McCourty.
Ravens cut it to 30-28 w/4:01 left.
11:34-First play is a throw and Ridley drops it. This playcalling is awful.
11:35-1st down for Welker, 11 yards. That play always works and never goes out of style.
11:36-Lewis mauls Gronkowski over the middle (the pass didn’t go his way), no call of course.
11:37-Illegal contact on Webb vs. Welker wipes away an interception. Yikes. 11th 1st down by penalty this game, mercy. I’m not ready for the NBA’s return. Haha penalty on Harbaugh. This is a disgrace.
11:46-Somewhere in all the delays, the Patriots are choking this away. Brady was sacked and threw an incompletion on the last two plays, Mesko punted it away and Baltimore has it 1st and 10 at their own 21.
1:55 left but they only have 1 timeout left. Did I mention that there were two 2 minute warnings?
11:48-Jones makes a 24-yard catch on the first play, Pitta with a 3-yard catch but he gets out of bounds. Another catch by Pitta, for 17 yards and Baltimore is basically in field goal range (Pats 35).
11:50-Flacco throws another lollipop but Arrington falls down, would have been an easy interception. This is absurd.
11:51-Pass interference by McCourty on Jones. Flacco underthrew it badly, which is why McCourty awkwardly reacted. The meltdown is almost complete.
11:52-Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker gets a chance at a 26-yard field goal to win it. 11:53-Would you believe that it looked like he possibly missed it but they couldn’t replay it. Belichick made contact with an official after the game. Oh boy, what a disaster. I don’t know who to blame: Goodell, the replacement refs, Josh McDaniels, McCourty. Whatever the case, New England is under .500 (1-2) for the first time in nine years.
Final: Ravens 31, Patriots 30
Goodnight, it’s past midnight on the East Coast.