FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ season continues.
The Patriots mounted an impressive second half comeback after trailing by 14 points midway through the third quarter to beat the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in the AFC divisional round.
The game ended on a last-second heave by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco that was picked off by safety Duron Harmon. The Patriots will host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday.
Here are the stars from the Patriots’ win:
Not only did the Patriots receiver move the chains, catching eight passes for 74 yards in his first game back from a concussion, he also threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to fellow wideout Danny Amendola, who was wide open streaking down the field.
Patriots fans have been waiting for that play for six years ever since Edelman, a college quarterback, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft.
Collins flashed his top-tier coverage skills by breaking up two passes, one intended for tight end Owen Daniels and another for fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Collins also led the Patriots with 11 tackles and had a key pressure on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the fourth quarter.
Gronk had a quietly (by his standards) dominant game, catching seven passes for 108 yards with a touchdown. His best play was a 46-yard catch from Brady down the seam in the first quarter.
McCourty, playing single deep-high safety, read a Flacco pass perfectly and picked off the Ravens quarterback in the third quarter. It was Flacco’s first playoff interception since the 2011 AFC Championship Game.
McCourty did a solid job as the team’s free safety. The Ravens only were able to complete one pass over 20 yards. He also broke up a key fourth-quarter pass from Flacco to receiver Kamar Aiken.
It appears that Amendola’s two games taking over for Edelman at the end of the season paid off. He carved out his own role in the Patriots’ offense, catching five passes for 81 yards with two touchdowns.
Amendola showed impressive toughness, breaking tackles and torpedoing in for his first touchdown.
He was left wide open on Edelman’s throw, but he still was able to catch the ball in stride and run past the Ravens’ secondary.
Flacco threw up a prayer at the end of the fourth quarter, and the Patriots second-year safety leaped up and picked off the pass for the game-clincher.
The final star has to go to Tom Brady. He threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns while completing 33 of 50 passes. He also chucked a second-quarter interception that nearly lost the game for the Patriots, but let’s ignore that and concentrate on the second half.
Brady led the Patriots to an impressive go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter that should rank among his best playoff moments.
Thumbnail photo via Elise Amendola/Associated Press