The Patriots are Super Bowl bound.
But not without sweating it out.
Sunday at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots didn’t play their best game, but did just enough to top the underdog Baltimore Ravens 23-20 to earn their trip to Super Bowl XLVI.
The end for the Ravens was a crushing one, as Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff pushed a 32-yard field goal wide with :11 seconds left that would have tied the game.
It’s a stunning end for the Ravens, and a joyous one for the Pats, who will now sit back and await the winner of the 49’ers and Giants as they will try to win their fourth Lombardi.
The Ravens led 20-16 in the fourth quarter, but the Pats put together a nice drive that ended with a Tom Brady 4th down leap for the winning score.
His 1-yard dive brought the Patriots (15-3) from behind, and the maligned New England defense made several key plays, including shutting down Ray Rice, the league’s total yardage leader.
Brady guided the Patriots to their fifth AFC championship in 11 seasons. Joe Flacco was 22-for-36 for 306 yards with two TD’s and a pick.
Veteran WR Lee Evans almost had the winning TD for Baltimore, but the ball was knocked out of his hands on second down by rookie Sterling Moore. The 3rd down pass before the missed field goal was knocked down.
The Super Bowl is Feb. 5 in Indianapolis.