No panic at halftime for Smith, Ravens
The defense helped the Ravens earn their second Super Bowl berth in franchise history, accomplishing something that's not very easy to do.
Tom Brady runs one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL, and he helped the Patriots post 13 points in the first half of Sunday's AFC title game with the Ravens. But Baltimore turned things around and shut out the Patriots in the second half and scored the game's final 21 points en route to a 28-13 victory over the Patriots.
The Ravens now advance to the Super Bowl in two weeks against San Francisco, which rallied to beat Atlanta in the NFC title game Sunday.
New England moved the ball well in the first half, scoring a touchdown and two field goals. But the second half was a different story as the Ravens forced three turnovers and held the Patriots scoreless.
Ray Lewis led the way with a total of 14 tackles, and Corey Graham added 11 while Bernard Pollard had nine tackles plus a key forced fumble that helped the Ravens score a touchdown that gave them control.
In addition, Cary Williams and Dannell Ellerbe both added interceptions that helped the Ravens shut down Brady and the Pats in the final two quarters. The turnovers proved crucial and constantly kept the Patriots from changing the game's momentum.
"I just take my hat off to my team, they deserve it," Lewis said in a Comcast post-game interview.
The Ravens were happy to use the bend-but-don't-break philosophy, especially when it came to stopping Brady. He completed 29 of 54 for 320 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. But the Ravens stopped him from making big plays that could have given the Pats a better shot at winning and made Baltimore a very happy team.
"It’s been a long time coming," said Haloti Ngata in a Comcast post-game interview. "We’ve been through so much. We never believed in what our doubters were saying about us. We’re going to the Super Bowl."