There are so many reason to celebrate the Baltimore Ravens thrilling victory over the New England Patriots, but let's just focus on the one that many might be criticizing for why the team almost came out on the losing end of the game. The Patriots rolled up 396 yards of total offense for the game, certainly not numbers indicative of one of the top defenses in the NFL.
So then what do we have to celebrate about the Ravens defense? While New England had close to 400 yards of offense, they accumulated most of them in the game's first 30 minutes as compared to the final 30 minutes. Of the 396 total yards, the Patriots put up 242 in the first half, but only 154 in the second half.
In addition, of QB Tom Brady's 319 passing yards, only 114 of them came after intermission. While no one is trying to say the defense shut down the high-powered offense of the Patriots, to limit them to what they did in the second half is a good indication of what the team is capable of for the rest of the season.
New England only scored ten of their 30 points in the second half and only a field goal in the final 15 minutes, allowing the Ravens to mount their comeback. A referees questionable call on what appeared to be a clean Lardarius Webb interception late in the game prolonged a Patriots drive that ended on the next series, forcing New England to punt to the Ravens with less than two minutes left in the game.
That gave QB Joe Flacco and the offense just enough time to drive down the field and get redemption for their AFC Championship Game loss last January, by this time making the field goal to win the game as time expired. If the Ravens defense continues to improve and return to previous year's levels, the greatly improved offense will combine to make them a force to deal with as the season progresses.