NE's drives last night:
#1 - Faced 3rd and 2 from their own 42, Brady misses Welker deep. Punt.
#2 - Nice drive, gets down to the Ravens' 12, facing 3rd and 2. Quick count, Ridley gets stuffed. Forced to kick a FG.
#3 - Move smartly down to Baltimore's 35, facing the wind, I'm thinking this is 4-down territory. Incomplete pass, then a punt.
#4 - Pats start at their own 47...excellent field position. Facing 3rd and 2 from the Raven 45. Brady can't connect with Lloyd. Punt. BTW, this is the 3rd 3rd-and-2 that they have failed to convert in just 4 drives. Not good.
#5 - Excellent drive, in response to a Raven's TD. Pats march 79 yards for a TD. Well done.
#6 - Another nice drive, closing in on the end of the half. Pats march down to the Raven 10 after a Brady scramble, but then instead of calling time out with about 20 seconds left, they try to get another play off, but can't, and are finally forced to call another time out just to get a field goal. They could have had two shots into the end zone (presuming no sacks) before trying a FG. That very easily could have cost them 4 points, and I think we all at that point were thinking this is a very bad sign.
By the way, this is now 4 drives to the Ravens' 35, and just 13 points to show for it.
#7 - Another good drive, moving them to the Raven 34, facing 3rd and 8. Same situation as in drive #3, essentially. And again, they fail to convert the 3rd down, and instead of it being 4-down territory, they punt.
#8 - After the Ravens score to take the lead (who didn't see THAT coming?), the Pats face a 3rd and 2 from their own 33. Brady converts to Woodhead, but it's called back on a holding call on Solder. Pats end up punting.
#9 - After another Ravens' TD puts them up 8, the Pats really need a score. NE moves to their 39 when @#$%!!*#$ Bernard Pollard drills Ridley, knocking him out cold. The ball falls to the turf and the Ravens get it back. Turnover #1.
#10 - Naturally, Baltimore scores, so now the Pats are down 15. Still tons of time, if they can just score here. They get to the Raven 19 in good shape, facing 2nd and 4. They go incomplete to Vereen, incomplete to Welker, and then on the Brady should-I-scramble-or-not play, a horrible incompletion to....pretty much nobody. Zero points. So this is now SIX trips inside the Raven 35, and FOUR inside the red zone, but just 13 points to show for it.
#11 - D stiffens, and the Pats make a huge play to Welker, getting down to the Raven 24 with time left for sure. Next play, Brady's pass is tipped and the ball ricochets about ten yards right into the hands of the waiting Ellerbe. Turnover #2. SEVEN trips inside the Raven 35, still just 13 points.
#12 - Last drive, desperation time. Pats still with a miracle chance, if they score quickly and do the onside kick thing. Anyway, they quickly move to the Ravens' 22, where Brady throws a pick in the end zone. Turnover #3. Game over.
So the Pats had EIGHT trips inside the Raven 35, and FOUR trips inside the red zone, and could only muster THREE scores: TWO field goals, ONE touchdown, and a measly THIRTEEN points.
That, my friends, is how you lose a playoff football game. Under normal circumstances, the Pats - the best red zone team in the league this year - produce way, way more points than that. If you take those eight trips inside the opponents' 35, the Pats are almost certainly scoring 30+ points in the game. Yet they get just 13. Credit the Ravens' D for tightening up - the ultimate bend-but-don't-break model last night. But boy, the Pats hit the crapper big time when they had chances to score.
EDIT: According to (http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat...ne-scoring-pct
), the Pats scored TDs on 67.5% of their red zone trips this year. That would mean, in the 4 trips, they should have come away with between 20 and 24 points. Then you take the other four trips inside the Ravens' 35 that didn't get to the red zone, and under normal (not 20+ mph winds) conditions, those are very makeable field goal attempts by Gostkowski. Figure he makes 3 of the 4. That's another 9 points.
In other words, on just a normal day for NE, they are almost certain to score 29-34 points, based on how well they moved the ball during the game. And that would have been enough to win. Gads......