Monday, January 21, 2013

Red zone dooms Patriots in AFC Championship loss


The New England Patriots boasted the best red zone offense in the NFL during the 2012 season. They weren't as good Sunday night.

Tom Brady's squad converted on only one of four trips inside the 20-yard line in a 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game.

“That’s the game," Patriots receiver Deion Branch told the media after the game, via "Not only in the second half, but getting the ball in the red (zone) two other times and coming up with field goals. You’ve got to score touchdowns against that team. (photo: JDN, Flickr)

"They’re a tough team with a tough defense. They play good ball, but you just have to score points."

On the other end, the Ravens were perfect in the red zone, going 4-for-4. Baltimore was second to New England in red zone offense this season, converting on 61 percent of its trips, according to The Patriots converted at a 67.5 clip.

"We can talk about all we want, but our defense played lights out," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "When you keep Tom Brady and that offense to threes and only give up one touchdown and shut them out in the second half, that just speaks volumes for itself."

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