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Patriots defense provides some bite against Ravens

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  December 22, 2013 08:55 PM

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BALTIMORE -- With two defensive touchdowns, three interceptions, four sacks, and three forced turnovers on downs, the Patriots' defense stole the spotlight of Sunday's 41-7 win over the Ravens.

Chandler Jones recovered a fumbled snap for a touchdown with 2:05 remaining and Tavon Wilson intercepted a Tyrod Taylor pass and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown just 55 seconds later. It was their first career touchdowns.

Rookie Logan Ryan picked off Joe Flacco twice and the Patriots made three stops on defense on fourth down while holding the Ravens to 358 total yards. Baltimore was also 5 of 14 on third down and 1 for 3 in the red zone.

The defensive touchdowns were the back-breakers. The scores came on the heels of a grinding nine-play, 48-yard drive that ended with a LeGarrette Blount touchdown.

It was a feat for the Patriots to hold the Ravens to one touchdown and to make big plays down the stretch.

"They gave us some opportunities and we took advantage of them," said Wilson.

The excitement was not lost on the players. Jones didn't know what to do after his touchdown.

"It was all so fast," Jones said. "Actually I looked around looking for like a flag or something. Everyone was running up to me. So I was like, 'Oh shucks, this is a touchdown.' But I always thought if I got a touchdown that I was going to dunk the ball on the goal post but it was so much adrenaline I just looked at the sideline and the stands like whoa, this is really happening. This is how it feels."

The Patriots got their first defensive takeaway since Week 13 against the Houston Texans when Ryan picked off Flacco with 8:28 left in the first quarter.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was particularly pleased with the team's effort across the board.

"Every single guy," he said. "You need everybody, and we had everybody. We had contributions from all three units."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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