The New England Patriots wore down and blew away the Baltimore Ravens, 41-7. They clinched the AFC East and remain in line for a first-round bye with an 11-4 record. The Ravens dropped to 8-7, but they still hold a wild card spot with a loss by the Miami Dolphins earlier.
The Patriots jumped all over the Ravens early. LeGarrette Blount got the scoring started with a 1-yard plunge, and Shane Vereen added to the lead with a short touchdown pass from Tom Brady. Joe Flacco, on the other hand, was brutal. He completed just 5 of 10 passes for 52 yards and an ugly interception in the first half. New England went into halftime leading big, 17-0.
With the game essentially over at halftime, the Patriots milked the clock for the second half, only getting a field goal the third quarter. The Ravens didn't even cross midfield until late in the third quarter. They narrowly avoided a shutout with a goal-line plunge by Flacco, but it was far too little too late. Tyrod Taylor replaced Flacco in garbage time and promptly gave up two defensive touchdowns, adding insult to injury on a forgettable performance by the Ravens.
Fantasy studs and duds
Julian Edelman was a PPR star again, racking up seven catches for 77 yards.
Shane Vereen left with a groin injury and was questionable to return. Devin McCourty got shook up after a hard hit on Ed Dickson.
Did they cover?
The Ravens opened as 1½-point favorites, according to Oddsshark.com. They failed to cover by losing.
Baltimore at Cincinnati, Dec. 29, 1 p.m. ET
New England vs. Buffalo, Dec. 29, 1 p.m. ET