A year after the images of Lee Evans’ drop in the end zone and Billy Cundiff’s 32-yard miss were forever burned into the retinas of Baltimore football fans, the Ravens will have their chance at revenge.
As a result of New England’s 41-28 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday evening, the Ravens will once again travel to Foxborough in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship. Last January, a superb day by quarterback Joe Flacco wasn’t enough to overcome the last-second shortcomings of Evans and Cundiff as the Ravens fell 23-20 and the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLVI where they lost to the New York Giants.
Flacco and the Ravens are riding high after their improbable 38-35 double-overtime victory over the No. 1 seed Denver Broncos on Saturday night. It was the Ravens’ first win over Peyton Manning since the 2001 season as the legendary career of 37-year-old linebacker Ray Lewis was extended by at least one more week.
Baltimore and New England met in Week 3 of the regular season as the Ravens erased an early 13-0 deficit to prevail on a Justin Tucker field goal in a 31-30 final at M&T Bank Stadium. Replacement officials ruled the rookie’s 27-yard kick sailed just inside the right upright, but New England coach Bill Belichick and many Patriots players believed the kick to be no good.
It was the Ravens’ first win over New England in Baltimore as the Patriots hold the 6-1 advantage in the all-time regular-season series.
Sunday will mark the third time in four seasons the Ravens and Patriots have met in the postseason, with all three games taking place at Gillette Stadium. Baltimore won the first playoff meeting between the teams in a surprising 33-14 beatdown in the wild-card round on Jan. 10, 2010 and the Patriots, of course, prevailed in last January’s conference championship.
Sunday’s game will be televised on CBS at 6:30 p.m.