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Other Week 18 Game Recaps

Week 18 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 33, New England Patriots 14

Baltimore Ravens

QB Joe Flacco, Pass: 4 - 10 - 34 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 5 - 0

Flacco was asked to do very little in this one, as the defense and running game did all the early damage to stake the Ravens to a big early lead. He had a floater picked to open up the door slightly for a Pats comeback, but Flacco also made some key throws and a scramble to power the fourth quarter TD drive when the Pats pulled within 13. He is banged up, but Flacco will have to overcome that limitation for the Ravens to have a chance to win next week vs. the Colts.

RB Ray Rice, Rush: 22 - 159 - 2 (1 targets)

The Patriots seemed to have no answer for Rice in these teams first meeting, and that showed when he took his first touch to the house, even outrunning swift safety Brandon Meriweather on the way to paydirt. Rice also scored the Ravens third TD and set up their second TD by breaking tackles on the way to a tough third-down conversion in the red zone. He has cemented his status as a top 5 pick in 2010 fantasy drafts with this performance.

RB Willis McGahee, Rush: 20 - 62 - 1, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets)

McGahee was the hammer in the red zone, often requiring multiple defenders to bring him down. He also had some strong running to kill the first half clock and keep the Pats from having any momentum going into the locker room. McGahee scored the game-clinching TD and also had a nice catch and run down to the two-yard line to set up the Ravens third TD of the first half.

RB LeRon McClain, Rush: 4 - 8 - 1, Rec: 1 - -4 - 0 (1 targets)

McClain got a one-yard plunge TD as the up back, and did a good job opening holes for Ray Rice and Willis McGahee.

WR Mark Clayton, Rec: 1 - 17 - 0 (2 targets)

Clayton went up to catch a high pass from Flacco on a long third-down to keep the game-clinching drive going, but otherwise gathered dust like the rest of the Ravens passing game.

WR Derrick Mason, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (3 targets)

Mason had a third-down conversion on the game-clinching drive for his only catch of the day.

TE Todd Heap (1 targets)

Heap didn't catch a pass, but he did get injured in the fourth quarter. He was the target on Flacco's lone INT.

New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, Pass: 23 - 42 - 154 - 2 TD / 3 INT

Brady had a nightmare performance, starting with a Terrell Suggs sack/strip/fumble, and going further downhill with a bad pass under pressure that was picked. Brady threw a second interception when he tried to hit Sam Aiken in double coverage and the ball was tipped and picked by Ed Reed. His third interception came off a big hit and deflected ball. In general, the Ravens brought the heat all day and Brady never looked comfortable. Even when he had time to throw, he was rarely finding any open receivers and was forced to settle for short, quick passes to get any kind of gains in the passing game. Obviously, Brady missed Welker, but even Welker wouldn't have been able to stem the tide of this overwhelming defensive performance by the Ravens.

RB Kevin Faulk, Rush: 14 - 52 - 0, Rec: 6 - 37 - 0 (8 targets)

Faulk took over part of Welker's role of running short underneath routes and getting yards after the catch. He also was the main ballcarrier and actually had modest success against the Ravens run defense. The veteran was responsible for a lot of the first downs the Patriots converted on this day the team would like to forget.

RB Sammy Morris, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (6 targets)

Morris mainly played fullback and never had an effect on the outcome of this game.

RB Fred Taylor, Rush: 2 - 1 - 0

Taylor got healthy just in time to be rendered useless by the big early lead the Ravens opened up.

RB Laurence Maroney, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets)

Maroney started and got the first carry, but the big hole the Pats fell in early made him irrelevant.

WR Julian Edelman, Rec: 6 - 44 - 2 (8 targets)

Edelman played courageously in place of Wes Welker, scoring both Patriots TDs, and converting a fourth-and-seven with a heroic run through multiple Ravens defenders, only to have the play called back by a penalty. He then came back to convert the fourth-and-17 on the next play. The rookie converted QB took a lot of punishment and couldn't loosen up the defense the same way Welker usually does. Still, the Pats have found a keeper and he might begin the 2010 season as a productive starter because of how late Welker's injury happened this season.

WR Randy Moss, Rec: 5 - 48 - 0 (7 targets)

Moss had an offensive pass interference call that killed a drive when he ran over a defender, and he didn't make any positive plays that had nearly as much effect on the game. He was limited to very short catches when the game was in question and the Ravens effectively shut him down with Ed Reed and a cornerback all day.

WR Sam Aiken, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (6 targets)

Aiken was asked to be the third receiver, but he wasn't up to the task, juggling a ball in double coverage that became the Ravens second pick of Tom Brady.