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January 21, 2013

Ravens upset Patriots 28-13 to make Super Bowl

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Joe Flacco outdueled Tom Brady, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship.

The win sets up the first Super Bowl coached by brothers, Baltimore's John Harbaugh and San Francisco's Jim. The 49ers won the NFC title earlier Sunday 28-24 at Atlanta.

The 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites.

Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis' final season will conclude in two weeks in New Orleans; he was the MVP of the 2001 game, the Ravens' only Super Bowl win.

Flacco had two touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and one to Dennis Pitta as the Ravens outscored the Patriots 21-0 in the second half. Baltimore's defense made Brady look ordinary and stymied the league's top offense. Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime.

Flacco's three touchdown passes came in just over 10 minutes in the second half. He connected with Bolden for two TDs in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter — a 3-yarder and an 11-yarder — after hitting Pitta with a 5-yard strike with 6:14 left in the third.

The Ravens (13-6) gained just 130 yards in the first half before Flacco guided them on scoring drives of 87 and 63 yards.

New England (13-5) suffered three injuries in the first half. Cornerback Aqib Talib hurt his thigh and defensive tackle Kyle Love injured his knee. The return of both starters was questionable. Backup safety Patrick Chung was helped off the field after one play.

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.

Stephen Gostkowski had given the Patriots a 3-0 lead with a 31-yard field goal with 6:21 left in the first quarter. But the Ravens went ahead on Ray Rice's 2-yard touchdown run with 9:28 to go in the second.

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