Best & Worst of Patriots’ win over Ravens
BEST TIME TO HIT THE DECK: Devin Hester fielded Ryan Allen’s 46-yard punt and immediately stumbled backward and down, which was a good thing as two Patriots special teamers were primed to deliver a kill shot.
WORST DECISION: Hester had a chance to fair catch an Allen punt at the 14. He chose to let the ball bounce, which proved unwise. Jonathan Jones was able to save the ball before it reached the end zone, and teammate Matthew Slater downed it at the 1. One play later, the Patriots reaped the benefits as Malcom Brown dropped Kenneth Dixon in the end zone for a safety.
BEST IMPERSONATION OF A BOWLING BALL: Fullback Kyle Juszczyk took a short pass from Joe Flacco and proceeded to knock down Patriots defenders as if they were bowling pins. He broke six tackles on his way to a 40-yard completion, a play which became 55 yards when Malcolm Butler was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
BEST AUDITION FOR THE OLYMPIC TRACK AND FIELD TEAM: The Ravens lined up for a field goal in the first quarter in hopes of taking an early lead. Shea McClellin had other ideas as he came up the middle, hurdled over the snapper and blocked Justin Tucker’s 34-yard attempt.
WORST NIGHTMARE: Linebacker C.J. Mosley had the unfortunate task of being lined up wide right opposite James White. The speedy back caught a slant over the middle and easily sprinted away from Mosley. Lardarius Webb finally tracked down White 61 yards later, giving the Patriots a first down at the Ravens 22-yard line.
WORST TIME TO GET JUMPY FEET: The Ravens were in a gambling mood late in the first half. Trailing 16-0, they decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 from their 39-yard line. Dixon put an end to that when he was nailed for a false start, sending the punt unit onto the field.
BEST TIME TO THROW A CHANEGUP: The Patriots dusted off the old flea-flicker play, and it worked. LeGarrette Blount took a handoff, ran to his right and tossed it back to Tom Brady. He connected with Chris Hogan on a 28-yard completion over the middle to set up a 19-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett.
BEST WAY TO EARN A PERMANENT SEAT IN THE DOGHOUSE: The much-maligned Cyrus Jones reared his ugly head on special teams once again. Rather than run away from a punt he was not going to field, Jones stayed in the vicinity, and the ball hit him in the foot. Chris Moore recovered the ball at the 3, and the Ravens punched it in two plays later to cut their deficit to 23-10.
BEST MOCK CHEER: Having seen Jones screw up a punt return and Matthew Slater fumble a kickoff return moments later, Pats fans were in no mood to see a hat trick. Thus when Deon Lewis fielded a kick cleanly in the end zone and downed it, fans serenaded him with sarcastic applause.
WORST TIME TO GET CAUGHT FLAT-FOOTED: Jones bit on a Breshad Perriman fake and paid the price. Perriman easily sailed by Jones to catch a 47-yard pass from Flacco down to the 29. The Ravens eventually settled for a field goal, crawling within 23-20.