FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady’s pass deflected high into the air off the hand of Baltimore lineman Pernell McPhee before floating gently downfield and into the arms of linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
And the rematch went to the Ravens.
A year after the New England Patriots took advantage of a dropped touchdown and a missed Baltimore field goal to advance to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 seasons, the Ravens held on for a 28-13 victory on Sunday in the AFC championship game.
After falling behind 28-13, the Patriots marched down the field before Brady’s tipped interception in the fourth quarter essentially ended their chances of a comeback. Brady, who had 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the first 17 games this season, was also picked off in the end zone with 66 seconds left, allowing the Ravens to run out the clock.
The Patriots, who had the highest-scoring offense in the NFL this season, were held to a season-low point total in their finale and more than 20 below their average.
Brady completed 29 of 54 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown, and Wes Welker had eight catches for 117 yards. Stevan Ridley ran for 70 yards on 18 carries before leaving the game after a fourth quarter carry in which he was hit so hard in the head he fumbled away the ball.
Brady is 5-3 in his eight games against the Ravens, including the playoffs, but his statistics against them are among his worst against any team.
The Ravens are the only team he’s thrown more interceptions against (10) than touchdowns (eight). Brady’s 49.1 rating in a 33-14 playoff loss to Baltimore on Jan. 10, 2010, was among the lowest in his career.
The Ravens’ win sets up a coaching matchup between brothers Jim and John Harbaugh in New Orleans.
Jim Harbaugh will lead San Francisco, John Harbaugh leads Baltimore.
In 2011 the Harbaughs became the first brothers to coach against each other in any NFL game.
The 49ers open as 5-point favorites.