The New England Patriots overcame not just one 14 point deficit in Saturday night’s Divisional Round play-off, but two as they came edged out a defiant Baltimore Ravens side.
The veteran quarterback had said in the build-up to the game that the Ravens were certainly not a team to go behind against as they are typically very good at protecting their leads – but he was not fazed by Baltimore even as they led by two scores twice in the game.
But the star of the show was by far wide-receiver Julian Edelman. A quarterback in his college days with Kent State University he rolled back the years after receiving the ball wide to Brady’s left he threw 51 yards into the hands of Danny Amendola who took the ball over for the touchdown.
That was the score which earned the Patriots their second comeback of the game and understandably it had not been plain sailing for them before then.
The Ravens had been speaking of causing an upset to everybody’s hopes for a Patriots/Broncos clash in the AFC Championship game and they certainly delivered as touchdowns from Kamar Aiken and Steve Smith Sr. saw them race into an early 14-0 lead.
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Touchdown after touchdown
Tom Brady rushed home from short to bring the deficit to just seven points before Danny Amendola levelled the game in dramatic fashion.
Catching the ball inside the red zone he rode two tackles before launching himself into the end zone to tie the game.
But Owen Daniels caught an 11-yard pass from Joe Flacco just before half time to give the lead back to the Ravens.
Justin Forsett re-instated the 14 point winning margin in the third quarter but Brady had quickly shortened the deficit to seven again with a trademark short throw to Rob Gronkowski.
That throw meant that the three-time Super Bowl winner broke Joe Montana’s record of most touchdowns thrown in the post-season with that his 46th touchdown pass.
And it was Julian Edelman’s first ever attempt at throwing the ball in his NFL career which levelled the game once more.
Grand stand finish
But the Patriots defence played a huge part two as they restricted the Ravens to a field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Brendan LaFell caught a 23-yard pass from Brady on the next drive with just two minutes left for the Ravens to respond.
But Flacco threw an interception caught by Patriots safety Duron Harmon which should have rounded the game off but there was some questionable clock management from Belichick’s men in the last minutes.
Hail Mary time
With the Ravens holding just one remaining time-out the Patriots took three quarterback kneels before Harbaugh finally stopped the clock on fourth down – meaning the Patriots would have to punt it.
With just 4 seconds to pull off a dramatic comeback Flacco threw a hail mary pass into the endzone to a sea of players from both sides. But the ball was tipped clear by Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots now await the outcome of Sunday’s match-up between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos to see who will be the visitors to Foxborough next week.