Ravens show advantage of deferring possession (Pats up 30-21)

Need an example for why it’s sometimes good to start the second half with the ball? Look no further than the Ravens’ march down the field to open the third quarter.

The Patriots had just seemed to grab momentum with a swift drive for a score to end the first half up 20-14.

Baltimore answered right away, driving 80 yards in eight plays with Ray Rice running four times for 28 yards and a 7-yard touchdown. The big play was a 32-yard dart from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith one play after Jacoby Jones couldn’t get a second foot inbounds for first-and-goal.

Rice is up to 78 rushing yards, plus two catches for 8 yards and the Ravens are back on top 21-20 in the third quarter.

Something tells me the Patriots will have an answer, but all that momentum the Pats seemed to swing their way - gone in a drive. And the lead is gone with it.

Update: The see-saw has tilted back toward New England.

The Patriots answered Baltimore’s score with one of their own, capping a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a Danny Woodhead 3-yard touchdown run. That gives New England a 27-21 lead with 6:48 to go in the third quarter.

One week after allowing 486 yards to Philly, the Ravens are well on their way to matching that number tonight. The Pats have 307 yards so far.

Update II: The Patriots have made it a two-score game, pushing their lead to 30-21 with 14:10 to go.

The Ravens made a nice stand after New England earned first-and-goal from the 4, forcing a 20-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

It’s better than seven points, but Baltimore, thanks to a couple of penalties including head contact from Ed Reed, is back to needing a couple of good drives for a chance.

It didn’t help that the Patriots were able to stay on the field a full 5:47 for that 13-play drive.