FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal on New England’s second series and the Patriots lead the Baltimore Ravens 3-0 after one quarter of the AFC championship game Sunday.
The kick with 6:21 left in the opening quarter capped a 13-play, 67-yard drive on which Tom Brady completed five of seven passes for 55 yards.
Both teams punted on their first possession before the Patriots began their scoring drive at their 21-yard line after a 50-yard punt by Sam Koch.
The Patriots began the series with Brady’s 8-yard completion to Brandon Lloyd. The pair teamed up for three completions, gaining 37 yards, on the drive.
The Ravens punted on their first three possessions in the first quarter. The Patriots punted on three of their four series, forcing Baltimore to start deep in its territory.
On their first possession after Gostkowski’s field goal, the Patriots made it to the Ravens 35-yard line before punting. And on their next series, they got to the Ravens 45 but punted again. That gave Baltimore the ball at its 10-yard line with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.
New England starting defensive tackle Kyle Love hurt his knee in the period. The Patriots said chances for his return were questionable.
A win Sunday would send the Ravens (12-6) to the Super Bowl for the second time and extend the 17-year career of linebacker Ray Lewis, who has said he will retire after the season.
A victory would put the Patriots (13-4) in their eighth Super Bowl, tying the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most all time, and Brady in his sixth.
It would be the Patriots’ second straight appearance in the NFL title game and third in six years.
The Patriots played without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his left arm a week earlier in their 41-28 divisional win over the Houston Texans.
The winner of the game plays the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
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Official Wire and AP
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