Trickeration, Confusion, and a 37-yard field goal: NE 27, Bal 21

After a 15-play, 7 minute drive brought them into Baltimore’s red zone, the New England Patriots were on the brink of ending the game with a touchdown. Bill Belichick knew this—so he went for the kill! Rather than settle for a field goal, he tried a fake field goal that got the Patriots near a first down.

Unfortunately, the fake was negated by an illegal motion penalty, but before the Ravens could accept that penalty, we were treated to a 15-minute interlude whereby the previous play was challenged to see whether the Patriots would have made the first down without the penalty—if the Pats didn’t make it, the Ravens would have just declined the penalty and taken over on downs.

Alas, the officials determined that the Patriots did, in fact, get the first down on the play that was negated, and this is all confusing, and unfairly obscures a clutch performance by the Baltimore defense, in which they held the Pats to a field goal and guaranteed their offense would have a chance.

And then Phillip Rivers went all… PHILLIP RIVERS!!!

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