Although their 20-point lead dwindled to a field goal, the Patriots held on Monday night to top the Baltimore Ravens 30-23.
A New England victory did not seem to be in doubt for most of the game. It took them just over a minute to get on the board with a safety, and an acrobatic blocked field goal by Shea McClellin put an exclamation point on the defense Patriots' defense in the first quarter. Until midway through the third quarter, the Ravens could only muster a field goal, but they proceeded to put up 17 straight points and pull within three.
Tom Brady, however, responded with his third touchdown pass of the game, a 79-yarder to wide receiver Chris Hogan.
In all, Brady threw for 406 yards, completing 25 passes in 38 attempts. He spread the ball around, with five receivers – including Hogan, James White, Julian Edelman, Martellus Bennett and Malcolm Mitchell – catching more than 40 yards. Bennett and Mitchell also scored touchdowns, as did running back LeGarrette Blount, who ran for 72 yards.
On the other side, Joe Flacco, went 37 for 52 with 324 yards and two touchdowns. He and Brady each threw a pick.
The Ravens had won four of the last five, but fall to 7–6 with three games left to play. At 11–2, the Patriots maintain sole possession of the top spot in the AFC. They'll head to Denver for a tough matchup against the Broncos next Sunday.