September 24, 2012 in Sports

Smith, Tucker help Ravens avenge AFC title game defeat

David Ginsburg Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach is upended by New England cornerback Devin McCourty during first-half action Sunday.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

BALTIMORE – Torrey Smith turned in an emotional – and sensational – performance under very difficult circumstances.

His teammates on the Baltimore Ravens helped make it a winning effort.

Rookie Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Ravens a 31-30 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night in a rematch of the AFC championship game.

Smith started and scored two touchdowns for the Ravens, less than 24 hours after his younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident late Saturday night. Smith left the team shortly after midnight Sunday but returned in time for warmups. The second-year wide receiver finished with six catches for 127 yards.

“It was tough, emotionally,” Smith said. “I didn’t know how I would hold up. It means a lot not just for us but for my family. That’s for my little brother.”

A moment of silence was observed before the game for Smith’s brother, 19-year-old Tevin Jones.

When the teams met in January, the Patriots squeezed out a three-point win at home to advance to the Super Bowl. The stakes weren’t nearly as high in this one, yet the game was eerily similar.

In the previous meeting, Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal in the closing seconds. In the encore, Tucker – who took the job away from Cundiff in training camp – drove his kick just inside the right upright.

The game-winning kick followed a pass interference call against Devin McCourty.

Baltimore (2-1) won its 12th straight at home behind Joe Flacco, who went 28 for 39 for 382 yards and three TDs.

Tom Brady completed 28 of 41 passes for 335 yards and a score for the Pats (1-2), who fell below .500 for the first time since Week 1 of 2003.

Wes Welker had eight catches for 142 yards for the Patriots, who fell to 6-1 against the Ravens in the regular season.

Brady moved into 12th place on the career yardage list, past Hall of Famer Joe Montana (40,551).

Ravens 31, Pats 30

New England1377330

NE—FG Gostkowski 37

NE—Bolden 2 run (Gostkowski kick)

NE—FG Gostkowski 49

Bal—T.Smith 25 pass from Flacco (Tucker kick)

Bal—Pitta 20 pass from Flacco (Tucker kick)

NE—Edelman 7 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick)

Bal—Rice 7 run (Tucker kick)

NE—Woodhead 3 run (Gostkowski kick)

NE—FG Gostkowski 20

Bal—T.Smith 5 pass from Flacco (Tucker kick)

Bal—FG Tucker 27


First downs3328
Total Net Yards396503
Punt Returns1-112-19
Kickoff Returns1-244-81
Interceptions Ret.1-360-0
Sacked-Yrds Lost2-160-0
Time of Poss.31:0328:57


RUSHING—New England, Ridley 13-37, Woodhead 15-34, Brady 2-7, Bolden 2-4, Edelman 2-(minus 5). Baltimore, Rice 20-101, Pierce 4-17, Flacco 2-3.

PASSING—New England, Brady 28-41-0-335. Baltimore, Flacco 28-39-1-382.

RECEIVING—New England, Lloyd 9-108, Welker 8-142, Edelman 4-28, Gronkowski 2-21, Branch 2-11, Winslow 1-12, Woodhead 1-9, Hoomanawanui 1-4. Baltimore, T.Smith 6-127, Pitta 5-50, Rice 5-49, Boldin 4-48, J.Jones 3-86, Leach 2-7, Dickson 2-5, Pierce 1-10.


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