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“They came kind of up-tempo a little bit with different personnel, and we struggled with it,” defensive lineman Vince Wilfork said of the Ravens’ second-half adjustments. “It wasn’t anything we didn’t know they were going to do. We had opportunities. I think we played pretty well at times, but when we needed them we just didn’t make enough plays.”
New England had a third-down conversion on its next possession wiped away by a Nate Solder holding call and could not convert on third and 12.
“We got behind in the second half and became one-dimensional,” Brady said, referring to his 30 pass attempts against just eight rushes in the third and fourth quarters. “We just couldn’t string enough good plays together to get the ball in the end zone.”
New England was just 1 for 4 in the red zone — a stark change for a team that got TDs on 49 of 70 red-zone trips during the regular season.
The missed opportunities on offense, and the defense was unable to make a key stop in the second half. None of it was how New England expected things to go.
“I’m at a loss for words, I didn’t expect this,” Spikes said. “It’s tough. It will be tough to get over this. A couple of plays. We have to make plays.”
“I had all my plans to go to the Super Bowl,” Solder said. “I don’t even know what I’m going to do now.”