Fans booed as the Ravens jogged off the field after 30 minutes. It would be hard to draw up a more terrible start to the game for Baltimore, which entered the day in control of its playoff destiny only to move two quarters away from losing it.
Trailing the Patriots 17-0 at halftime, the Ravens need a sudden change on offense after accumulating a meager 71 yards while allowing 192.
Quarterback Joe Flacco’s left knee appears to be affecting him both in his ability to pass deep and move around the pocket. He has already absorbed three sacks and is just 5-for-10 for 52 yards and an interception.
No Ravens receivers have a catch so far. Bernard Pierce has two while Vonta Leach, Ed Dickson and Ray Rice each had one.
The running game continues to add little, contributing just 37 yards so far, led by 22 from Rice.
On the other side of the ball, New England has gashed the Ravens with both the run and pass. Baltimore has surrendered 86 yards on the ground, led by LeGarrette Blount’s 56. Shane Vereen left the game with a groin injury and his return is questionable, but the Pats haven’t needed him.
Tom Brady is doing just fine, going 8-for-13 for 114 yards and a touchdown. Danny Amendola has two receptions for 45 yards and Julian Edelman has three for 44.
Neither team has been all that disciplined, but the Ravens have been especially affected by flags. Baltimore has committed seven penalties for 65 yards while New England has been flagged five times for 48 yards.
The Ravens haven’t performed all that well on either side of the ball, but they need to soon find some kind of rhythm offensively. Otherwise, the Patriots will find a way to run away with a contest Baltimore needs badly.
Update: The Patriots capitalized on Logan Ryan’s second interception of the game and Flacco’s 19th of the season to extend their lead to 20-0 with 7:15 to go in the third quarter.
Stephen Gostkowski split the uprights from 42 yards out for his second field goal of the day and this must-win game just keeps getting worse for the Ravens.