Through three quarters, the Ravens played smart, sound football.
They pressured five-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady. Joe Flacco spread the ball around, dissecting the Patriots' secondary. The special teams play was solid.
But after Billy Cundiff's 25-yard field goal seven seconds into the fourth quarter, things went downhill.
The normally reliable Cundiff sent the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Patriots great field position at their own 40.
The defense, which had held the league's top scoring offense to just 10 points through three quarters, allowed 10 in the fourth quarter alone. With the exception of Haloti Ngata (who continues to impress week after week), the front-seven got very little pressure on Brady in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Brady was able to step up in the pocket and look downfield.
The offense, which had picked apart the Pats' young, inexperienced defense throughout much of the game, suddenly went silent, picking up just one first down in the fourth quarter. They then moved the chains just twice on three overtime possessions, and seemed to lack any type of creativity in their play-calling.
The composure which the Ravens had showed throughout pretty much the entire season suddenly was gone late in overtime, when fullback Le'Ron McClain was flagged for unnecessary roughness for pushing Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham well after the whistle.
Add it all up, and it will show that the Patriots outscored the Ravens 13-0 after Cundiff's field goal early in the fourth.
"It's a little disappointing," Flacco told reporters after the game. "It's tough when you're up and you think you've got a game won. You've got to close it out, you've got opportunities to close it out, and then you go into overtime and you're given a couple opportunities and just don't get it done.
"It's a little disappointing I feel like, because we felt like we were right there to win the game and then didn't capitalize enough."
To beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, you need to play four very strong quarters. The Ravens just played three this afternoon, and that's why they leave New England with the loss.