Ravens Beat Patriots 31-30 as Smith Stars After Brother’s Death
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 31-30 in a rematch of last season’s American Football Conference championship game as Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired.
The New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins 23-20 in one of yesterday’s three National Football League games to go to overtime, while the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-6 for their first 3-0 start since 1974.
The Ravens missed a chance to reach the Super Bowl in January when they lost to the Patriots 23-20, a game in which kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. Baltimore avenged that loss last night as Torrey Smith caught two touchdown passes, one day after his 19-year-old brother, Tevin, was killed in a motorcycle crash.
“I didn’t know whether or not I was going to play,” Smith said in a televised interview. “But we were able to come out, get a win and play well. That’s my little brother and I love him to death, so we just thank you for all the support from everyone around the league and all the fans in general. My family really appreciates it.”
Joe Flacco passed for 382 yards and three touchdowns for the Ravens (2-1), who rallied from a 30-21 fourth-quarter deficit. Smith caught a 5-yard touchdown pass with 4:01 left and Flacco drove the Ravens 70 yards to set up Tucker’s winning kick, which curled to the right and appeared to go directly over the upright. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whose team had 10 penalties for 83 yards, shouted at one of replacement officials and grabbed his arm as they ran off the field. He may face a fine from the NFL for making contact with an official.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” Belichick said after the Patriots fell to 1-2. “You saw the game, what did we have, like 30 penalties called in the game?”
The Jets earlier won on a 33-yard field goal by Nick Folk, who got a second chance because the Dolphins had called timeout just before blocking his first attempt. Mark Sanchez passed for 306 yards in Miami and his 38-yard completion to Santonio Holmes set up Folk’s winning kick, which came after Dan Carpenter had missed a 48-yard attempt for the Dolphins.
“We certainly got some breaks,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “No question about it.”
The Cardinals raced to a 24-0 first-half lead against the Eagles in a matchup of unbeaten teams, as Kevin Kolb threw two touchdown passes and the Arizona defense forced three fumbles. Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick fumbled twice, including one that was returned 93 yards for a touchdown.
The NFL’s only other 3-0 team is the Houston Texans, who got four touchdown passes from Matt Schaub in yesterday’s 31-25 win over the Broncos and Peyton Manning in Denver.
The Jets were joined as overtime winners by the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs. It marked the first time since Nov. 7, 2010, the NFL had three overtime games on the same day.
The Titans beat the Detroit Lions 44-41 on a 26-yard field goal by Rob Bironas after allowing two touchdowns in the final 18 seconds of the fourth quarter. Calvin Johnson caught a 3-yard score to pull Detroit within 41-34 and, after the Lions recovered an onsides kick, Titus Young caught a 46-yard pass from Shaun Hill as time expired to tie the game at 41-41.
After Bironas’s field goal, the Titans held on for the win by stopping Hill -- who came into the game after a hamstring injury to starting quarterback Matthew Stafford -- on a 4th- and-1 sneak from the Tennessee 7-yard line. Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Detroit planned to try to draw an offsides call and the ball was snapped before he could call a timeout for an attempt at a tying field goal.
“That was a miscommunication,” Schwartz said in a news conference. “I’ve been around a lot of crazy games. I don’t think I’ve ever been around one like that.”
In a meeting of winless teams, the Chiefs beat the New Orleans Saints 27-24 in overtime after rallying from a 24-6 deficit. Ryan Succop tied the game with a 43-yard field goal with three seconds left in the fourth quarter and then won it with a 31-yard kick in overtime. The Saints, with all three of their losses against 1-2 teams, are 0-3 for the first time since losing four straight games to start the 2007 season.
“We need to take a hard look in the mirror at what’s gotten us beat the last three weeks,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said at a news conference.
The San Francisco 49ers lost for the first time this season, 24-13 to the Minnesota Vikings, while the Cincinnati Bengals spoiled rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III’s home debut with a 38-31 victory over the Washington Redskins.
The Jacksonville Jaguars secured a 22-17 win against the host Indianapolis Colts as Blaine Gabbert found Cecil Shorts with an 80-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds to play. The winning score came 11 seconds after the Colts had taken a 17-16 lead on a 37-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
The Oakland Raiders got their first win of the season by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-31 on Sebastian Janikowski’s 43-yard field goal as time expired.
Elsewhere, it was Chicago 23, St. Louis 6; Buffalo 24, Cleveland 14; and Dallas 16, Tampa Bay 10.
Week 3 play began Sept. 20 with the New York Giants beating the Carolina Panthers 36-7 for their second win of the season. The schedule concludes tonight with the Green Bay Packers (1-1) at the Seattle Seahawks (1-1).
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