Brady comes through af­ter Pats blow 20-pt lead

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Af­ter the Pa­tri­ots blew most of a 20-point lead with two spe­cial teams flubs, Tom Brady hit a wide-open Chris Ho­gan with a 79yard touch­down bomb with 6:18 re­main­ing as New Eng­land es­caped with a 30-23 vic­tory over the Bal­ti­more Ravens on Mon­day.

Brady’s sec­ond touch­down pass of the game was also the 450th of his NFL ca­reer, mak­ing him the fourth player to hit that mark.

New Eng­land led 23-3 in the third quar­ter be­fore rookie Cyrus Jones had a bounc­ing punt hit off his foot for a fum­ble and Matthew Slater dropped a kick­off that al­lowed Joe Flacco to throw a pair of short touch­down passes.

Bal­ti­more kicker Justin Tucker’s 38-yard field goal then made it 23-20 be­fore Brady came through. Flacco took his team to an­other Tucker field goal (Tucker had one blocked in the first half ) with 2:03 left. How­ever, New Eng­land’s Pa­trick Chung re­cov­ered the on­side kick and the Pa­tri­ots (11-2) were able to run out the clock.

The Ravens (7-6) dropped a game be­hind the Pittsburgh Steel­ers in the AFC North. Brady, 8-1 since re­turn­ing from his ‘De­flate­gate’ sus­pen­sion, went 25-of-38 for 406 yards, the 76th time Brady has cleared 300 and the ninth time he threw for 400 in a game. He had three touch­down passes and his sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion of the sea­son. LeGar­rette Blount (72 yards on 18 car­ries) tied the club record with his 14th rush­ing touch­down and also went over the 1,000-yard rush­ing mark for the sec­ond time in his ca­reer. He is the Pa­tri­ots’ first 1,000-yard rusher since 2012.

New Eng­land’s Julian Edelman caught seven passes and Ho­gan five, the lat­ter fin­ish­ing with 129 yards for his sec­ond ca­reer 100-yard game.

New Eng­land out­gained Bal­ti­more 496 yards to 348. Flacco com­pleted a fran­chise-record 37 passes-many of them less than five yards-in 52 at­tempts for 324 yards. He was picked off once.

The New Eng­land spe­cial teams pro­vided the early story, forc­ing the Ravens into an even­tual safety and block­ing a field goal. Ryan Allen’s punt was kept out of the end zone by Jonathan Jones and downed by Slater at the one. On the first play, Ken­neth Dixon was swal­lowed up by Mal­colm Brown for a safety and it was 2-0.

Later in the quar­ter, the Ravens lined up for a 34-yard Tucker field goal but Shea McClellin hur­dled snap­per Morgan Cox and eas­ily blocked the kick. Blount ran for a score and Mitchell caught his fourth touch­down pass in four games to make it 16-0 but Brady’s in­ter­cep­tion throw into the end zone kept things from get­ting to­tally out of hand. It got a bit closer when Tucker nailed a 50-yard field goal with 11 sec­onds left in the half. — Reuters

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