First let me say that it was a fun ride this season, and at the beginning of the year I did not expect to even be in this game. However, I did expect to win it all when the playoffs began because the Patriots were healthy, so it was still a disappointment. Once again, I'm hearing, "If only Welker caught that pass." This, of course, makes Wes Welker the scapegoat again for many. Having said that, there is no one person or one play you can pin this game on, it is a culmination of plays and persons.
The moment I saw the game swing in the Ravens favor is when Aqib Talib went out of the game. It did not mean that the Ravens had the game won, but it meant that the old Patriots defense was back, and that means trouble. Aqib Talib shut down Anquan Boldin when he was in, and Alfonzo Dennard had Torrey Smith's number; thus, the Patriots could focus on the run game. Talib goes down, the "Bend but don't break" defense comes into play leading to Dennis Pitta over the middle every other play and little passes leading to Joe Flacco having a huge second half and zero turnovers for the Ravens offense. I said it two days ago, the Ravens would lose because they weren't playing that same New England defense. Turns out they did get to play that same New England defense.
The Patriots still had a chance, but it was in the hands of the offense, which was not having a bad game yards-wise, but once they hit the 35 they stalled out and needed to punt because of the wind. This is where I miss Gronkowski. The Time Out that wasn't called at the end of the first half ruined any shot of having a 10-point lead at the half.
BERNARD F*CKING POLLARD. Knocks Ridley out of the game, and the Ravens turn his fumble into seven. Brady leads the offense back on multiple occasions, but interceptions post-batted balls ruin the drives and the Patriots will now spend the Super Bowl at home. Better luck next year.