FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — It was one for the ages Saturday night in Foxboro – and the New England Patriots are headed to their fourth straight AFC Championship game.
The Patriots took the lead with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter and never looked back, walking away with a 35-31 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
QB Tom Brady added another impressive win to his playoff resumé, throwing for 367 yards and three touchdowns. He came into the game with 43 postseason touchdowns – one behind Brett Favre and two behind all-time leader Joe Montana – so he now holds the record for most TDs in NFL playoff history.
Brady’s performance also put him at the top of another list – most postseason passing yards. However, he surpassed Peyton Manning, who could very well take the record right back Sunday night.
It was the 19th playoff win in Brady’s career, putting him further in the lead for the most for a starting quarterback. It was also the 20th win for head coach Bill Belichick – which ties him for the most all time with longtime Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry.
Brady may have thrown for three touchdowns, but his team had four receiving touchdowns on the night thanks to slot receiver Julian Edelman. Edelman – who played quarterback at Kent State – took in a swing pass from Brady in the third quarter and launched a 51-yard bomb to Danny Amendola for the score. It was his first pass in a Patriots uniform.
The game wasn’t all New England though – the Ravens were in the driver’s seat for most of the contest. They came out swinging, scoring two touchdowns within the first five minutes. Joe Flacco showed great efficiency, throwing for 292 yards and four touchdowns, but his downfall came after the final two-minute warning. Down by four, he tried to take back the game with a deep pass to Torrey Smith in the end zone, but it was picked off by Duron Harmon – effectively ending the game for Baltimore.
Next week the Patriots will face the winner of tomorrow night’s AFC Divisional matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts.