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Final: Patriots 23, Ravens 20

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  January 22, 2012 03:02 PM

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FOXBOROUGH -- Lee Evans was stripped of a 14-yard touchdown pass by the Patriots Sterling Moore with 22 seconds left and Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff pushed a 32-yard field goal attempt wide left two plays later as the Patriots held on to beat the Ravens, 23-20, and advance to Super Bowl XLVI.

1:44 4th quarter: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 -- The Ravens held the Patriots to three-and-out, forcing a punt with less than two minutes remaining.

2:46 4th quarter: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 -- Vince Wilfork came up with two big plays for the Patriots. On third down, he stuffed Ravens RB Ray Rice for a 3-yard loss. On fourth-and-6, he pressured Ravens QB Joe Flacco into throwing the ball away. Patriots take over on downs at the Ravens' 33.

6:10 4th quarter: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 -- Tom Brady took a shot down field and paid for it. His pass was intended for Matthew Slater and was tipped by the Ravens' Bernard Pollard before being intercepted by Jimmy Smith in the end zone. Smith returned it 39 yards.

7:22 4th quarter: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 -- Brandon Spikes picked off Ravens QB Joe Flacco. It was the Ravens' first turnover of the game. The Patriots have the ball now with 50 yards of field in front of them.

11:29 4th quarter: Patriots 23, Ravens 20 -- Tom Brady jumped over both lines for a 1-yard touchdown after his previous 1-yard run off tackle for a TD -- right off Matt Light's side -- was overturnede. It was fourth-and-goal on the 1-yard line for the Patriots, who regained the lead with the score.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to the game on the play prior to the touchdown.

End of the 3rd quarter: Ravens 20, Patriots 16 -- Rob Gronkowski was hurt on a 23-yard pass from Tom Brady. He was taken down awkwardly by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard. After the play, he was walked to the locker room.

Pollard, if you recall, also injured Tom Brady's knee when he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and also was involved in the play when Wes Welker injured his knee in the season finale a year later against the Houston Texans.

0:50 3rd quarter: Ravens 20, Patriots 16 -- James Ihedigbo sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco and the Patriots held Baltimore to a field goal after giving them a short field on Danny Woodhead's fumble.

Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff kicked a 39-yard field goal.

3:09 3rd quarter: Ravens 17, Patriots 16 -- After Torrey Smith's 29-yard touchdown, the Patriots' Danny Woodhead fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff after a 32-yard return. It was recovered by Emanuel Cook for the Ravens.

3:38 3rd quarter: Ravens 17, Patriots 16 -- Joe Flacco hit Torrey Smith on a 5-yard hitch and the Ravens receiver turned it up field, broke a tackle from Patriots CB Sterling Moore, and raced away for a 29-yard touchdown down the sideline. Smith fought off Patriots corner Devin McCourty as he dove into the end zone. The play was reviewed and upheld.

9:06 3rd quarter: Patriots 16, Ravens 10 -- Stephen Gostkowski kicked his third field goal as the Patriots extended their lead to 6 points. Gostkowski's kick, a 24-yarder, capped a 14-play drive that opened the second half.

Key plays on the drive were a 12-yard pass from Tom Brady to Aaron Hernandez -- who got in a couple of more rushes at running back -- and a 21-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski.

15:00 3rd quarter: Patriots 13, Ravens 10 -- Third quarter is underway with the Patriots receiving.

End of 2nd quarter: Patriots 13, Ravens 10 -- After one half of play, the Patriots are in a tug-of-war with the Ravens.

Tom Brady is currently 14 of 24 passing for 146 yards and an interception.

The big thing for the Patriots so far has been their running game and their defense. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has carried the ball eight times for 50 yards and a touchdown. Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has been wreaking havoc on the Ravens offense, recording a sack, a tackle for a loss, and has pressured Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco on numerous occasions.

The Ravens haven't been gun shy in this game, going deep on three occasions to Torrey Smith. Flacco did complete one of those bombs to Smith for 42 yards. It led to a field goal. Flacco is currently 11 of 16 for 162 yards and a touchdown, connecting with tight end Dennis Pitta for a 6-yard score.

0:58 2nd quarter: Patriots 13, Ravens 10 -- Patriots CB Kyle Arrington has an eye injury and his return is questionable.

3:00 2nd quarter: Patriots 13, Ravens 10 -- Stephen Gostkowski kicked his second field goal, this one a 35-yarder, to cap a 10-play drive.

The drive was a quick 3:03 with the Patriots still working in a hurry-up offense, something they've done all game. But the Ravens are doing their best to slow the Patriots, holding down receivers on the ground for as long as they can so they can get back in position.

6:03 2nd quarter: Patriots 10, Ravens 10 -- Joe Flacco connected with tight end Dennis Pitta for a 6-yard touchdown.

Patriots LB Brandon Spikes appeared to get into a tiff with Ravens FB Vonta Leach on the prior play. There were no flags on the play, but following the confusion Flacco came out and fired the touchdown strike to Pitta. It capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive that spanned 4:32.

10:35 2nd quarter: Patriots 10, Ravens 3 -- BenJarvus Green-Ellis found a hole up the gut and ran for a 7-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Green-Ellis carried the ball five times on the drive.

14:21 2nd quarter: Patriots 3, Ravens 3 -- Billy Cundiff kicked a 20-yard field goal to tie the game. The field goal topped an eight-play, 67-yard drive. The big play on the drive was Joe Flacco's 42-yard pass to Torrey Smith, who was wide open on the play.

End of 1st quarter: Patriots 3, Ravens 0 -- The first quarter comes to a close with the Ravens in the red zone. Joe Flacco completed a 42-yard pass to Torrey Smith. The Ravens are trying to capitalize on Tom Brady's interception.

3:46 1st quarter: Patriots 3, Ravens 0 -- The Ravens' Lardarius Webb intercepted Tom Brady on a pass to Julian Edelman.

4:30 1st quarter: Patriots 3, Ravens 0 -- Two big plays by Vince Wilfork on the last drive. Wilfork disrupted a run to Ricky Williams in the backfield for a 5-yard loss. He got a hand on Flacco for a sack on third down, forcing another Ravens punt.

5:49 1st quarter: Patriots 3, Ravens 0 -- Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 29-yard field goal as the Patriots put the first points on the board of the AFC Championship. The field goal capped a 13-play, 50-yard drive that spanned 5:20.

Brady missed a wide-open Rob Gronkowski near the goal line -- a rare misfire for Brady -- and was sacked by Baltimore's Paul Kruger on the drive.

Julian Edelman got a rushing attempt on the drive.
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11:09 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Ravens 0 -- Patriots defensive lineman Mark Anderson sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco for a seven-yard loss on third down, forcing a punt. Anderson was helped on the play by fellow lineman Vince Wilfork, who put pressure on Flacco in the pocket.

12:49 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Ravens 0 -- The Patriots held the Ravens to a three-and-out on their first possession only to follow up with a three-and-out of their own. Ravens safety Ed Reed broke up a Tom Brady pass intended for Deion Branch on third down.

15:00 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Ravens 0 -- It's 29 degrees out, partly cloudy and winds are moving at 6 miles per hour. Great day for football.

The game is about to get underway and we'll have all the game updates right here through the final whistle -- and then some.

Among the other things Boston.com has going on for today's game, you can visit our virtual tail gate where we have a fan chat, tweets from our writers at the game and analysis from the Globe's Greg A. Bedard.

Enjoy the game.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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