Ravens hurt playoff chances, humbled by Pats 41-7

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm •  Published: December 22, 2013
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BALTIMORE (AP) — The best thing the Baltimore Ravens could do after being humbled by the New England Patriots was to box up the loss, cast it aside and immediately forget about it.

Needing a victory to remain in the hunt for the AFC North title, the defending Super Bowl champions came up with a dud of a performance and fell to the Patriots 41-7 Sunday.

Baltimore committed four turnovers, yielded four sacks, fell behind 17-0 in the second quarter and gave up three touchdowns in the final 125 seconds.

The rematch of last season's AFC title game was quite the mismatch.

"You know, we're used to going out there and playing well when we need to when the playoffs are on the line," said Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who threw two interceptions. "We come out today hungry and ready to go get ourselves into the playoffs or make that next step toward it, and we just didn't do it."

The loss eliminated the Ravens (8-7) from contention in the AFC North and dropped them into a tie with Miami and San Diego for the final AFC wild-card slot. Baltimore closes the regular season at Cincinnati, which displaced the Ravens as division champs.

"We lost the game, putting it behind us and moving on," coach John Harbaugh said. "We have a lot at stake next week. That's what we'll be looking forward to prepare for."

Logan Ryan had two interceptions and LeGarrette Blount scored twice for the playoff-bound Patriots, who ended the Ravens' four-game winning streak.

The previous time these two teams met, the AFC title hung in the balance and Baltimore used a strong second half to pull out a 28-13 victory. In this one, New England took control early and never let up.

The Patriots (11-4) were assured their fifth straight AFC East title before the game started when Miami lost at Buffalo. It's the 11th division crown for New England coach Bill Belichick, tied with Don Shula for most since the 1970 merger.

"Happy to win the AFC East," Belichick said. "Hopefully, we can build off this game."

Tom Brady completed 14 of 26 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown. He has led his team to 11 division titles, two more than any other starting quarterback in NFL history.

"They're all special. It's hard to come by, and this team's really fought hard all year," Brady said. "We've earned it. Eleven wins in the NFL's not easy, and to win a division title's not easy."

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