Ravens upset Patriots to reach Super Bowl

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Oh, brother!

John Harbaugh and his Baltimore Ravens set up a family reunion at the Super Bowl, shutting down the New England Patriots 28-13

Sunday in the AFC championship game.

The Ravens reached their first Super Bowl in 12 years, thanks to three touchdown passes from Joe Flacco and a defense led

by Ray Lewis that made Tom Brady look downright ordinary.

Next up for Harbaugh and the Ravens is younger brother Jim and the San Francisco 49ers, who beat Atlanta 28-24 earlier in

the day for the NFC title.

"I don't know if we had a dream this big," John Harbaugh said. "We had a few dreams, we had a few fights, we had a few arguments

— just like all brothers."

They'll meet in two weeks in New Orleans — what a place for a party to celebrate the first brother-vs.-brother coaching matchup

in Super Bowl history.

It also will be quite a last game for Lewis, the emotional linebacker who will retire after the matchup with the 49ers, who

opened as a 5-point favorite.

"This is our time. This is our time," said Lewis, who made 14 tackles Sunday and has 44 in three postseason games after missing

10 weeks with a torn right triceps.

Driven by Lewis' pending departure from the NFL, Baltimore's defense stepped up in the playoffs. Brady was 67-0 at home when

leading at halftime, but this was no contest in the second half.

"We've lost before. It takes a while to get over," Brady said.

It also was a first for the Patriots, who hadn't lost an AFC championship at home.

After they had avenged last year's AFC title

game loss at Gillette Stadium, many of the Ravens gathered on the field

jumping,

chest-bumping and whooping before several thousand fans wearing

Ravens jerseys — mostly Lewis' No. 52 — who remained in the

stands.

As in the previous two playoff wins against

Indianapolis and Denver, the Ravens (13-6) were brilliant offensively in

spots.

This might be 17-year-veteran Lewis' team, but it's also Flacco's,

and the quarterback's six road wins are the most in playoff

history.

"It was pretty awesome," said Flacco, who

has eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in the playoffs. "We

were here last

year and thought we had it, but came up a little short. Guys came

out in the second half and made plays. ... We put pressure

on them like that, and it worked pretty well."

Flacco, whose contract ends after the Super Bowl, is the only quarterback to win a playoff game in each of his first five

seasons. He was dynamic with his arm and precise with his decision making. Looking much more the championship passer than

Brady did, his throws of 11 and 3 yards to Anquan Boldin and 5 to Dennis Pitta all were perfect.

The touchdown by Pitta capped the Ravens' best drive of the game, covering 87 yards in 10 plays and made it 14-13. It started

with a 15-yard defensive pass interference penalty, and it was an indication of things to come.

"We've always believed in Joe," Harbaugh said. "And for Joe to come out and to have this kind of a game and this kind of a

stage three weeks in a row ..."

New England (13-5) lost a home AFC title

matchup for the first time in five games. The loss denied Brady and

coach Bill Belichick

a shot at their sixth Super Bowl. They've gone 3-2, losing their

last two times in the big game.

Instead, it's the AFC North champion Ravens heading to the Big Easy, seeking their second NFL championship. San Francisco

has won five.

"All these men out there, there might just

be only five of us up here, but every man out there sacrificed this year

for each

other," Lewis said during the trophy ceremony. "And man, we did it

and we're on our way to the Super Bowl. That's awesome."

The Ravens have gotten there the hard way, with no postseason bye. Then again, five of the last seven Super Bowl champions

took that route.

The Ravens also were pushed into a second overtime in frigid Denver last weekend before eliminating Peyton Manning and the

top-seeded Broncos.

And now they've cast aside the league's most successful franchise of the last dozen years.

"I'd probably say we came up a little short in every area," Belichick said.

New England, which hasn't won a Super Bowl

since the 2004 season, had four injuries, the scariest when running back

Stevan

Ridley was knocked flat by Bernard Pollard in the fourth quarter,

forcing a fumble. Baltimore turned that into the final touchdown,

on the only short scoring drive it had, 47 yards.

The Ravens gained just 130 yards in the first half.

Brady guided a 13-play drive to Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Neither defense yielded a big play,

and punters Zoltan Mesko and Sam Koch were the busiest guys on the field.

That changed when the teams switched sides for the second quarter. Baltimore again was pinned deep, at its 10, but Flacco

led a 13-play drive. Ray Rice, whose 83-yard run on the Ravens' first play from scrimmage in their wild-card round victory

here three years ago, ran left untouched for the TD.

Awakened by Baltimore's march, the Patriots staged a long one of their own, 79 yards, aided by a 15-yard personal foul by

Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Wes Welker picked up 24 yards on a short pass, then got free in the right corner of the

end zone after a mix-up in the Ravens' secondary, making it 10-7.

It was 13-7 by halftime as Gostkowski

connected from 25 yards, with New England outsmarting Baltimore several

times. Danny

Woodhead ran for 7 yards on a direct snap on fourth-and-1 in the

drive. Defensive end Paul Kruger, who's good at sacks, not

much in coverage — found himself downfield on Aaron Hernandez on

what became a 17-yard reception.

But Brady made a mental error himself, not calling timeout quickly enough after a short scramble. So the Patriots didn't get

a shot at the end zone and Gostkowski made his second kick.

Shockingly for an offense that scored 557 points this season, that was it for New England.

"We are probably the only team in the AFC that matches up good with the boy, No. 12 over there and his coach," linebacker

Terrell Suggs said of Brady and Belichick.

NOTES: Brady now has 5,949 yards passing,

the most in NFL history for the postseason. He threw for 320 yards

Sunday but was

picked off twice in the fourth quarter. ... Ridley sustained a

head injury but walked off the field. Patriots CB Aqib Talib

hurt his thigh and DT Kyle Love injured his knee. Backup safety

Patrick Chung was helped off the field after one play. ...

Baltimore beat San Francisco 16-6 in the 2011 season.