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Patriots hold off Ravens

Baltimore unable to convert on fourth downs late. Associated Press

Print This October 04, 2009, 06:16 PM EST

By HOWARD ULMAN, AP Sports Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Tom Brady and Randy Moss hooked up for their first touchdown pass of the season, the Baltimore Ravens failed on fourth-down plays on their last two series and the New England Patriots held on for a 27-21 win Sunday.

Moss' touchdown made it 24-14 late in the third quarter, but Joe Flacco's 13-yard scoring pass to Willis McGahee cut that to 24-21. Stephen Gostkowski's 33-yard field goal gave the Patriots (3-1) a six-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

On the next possession with a fourth-and-1 at the Ravens 45-yard line, McGahee was stopped for no gain.

The Ravens (3-1) got the ball back with 5:09 left after a punt and moved to a fourth-and-4 at the 14. Flacco then threw to Mark Clayton, who was open beyond the first-down marker but dropped the ball with 28 seconds remaining.

The Patriots then ran out the clock, keeping intact their unbeaten record against the Ravens with their fifth win.

Baltimore left tackle Jared Gaither was taken off the field on a stretcher midway through the second quarter when he blocked right defensive end Jarvis Green, who pushed him into Flacco.

Both Ravens went down and Flacco got up quickly. But Gaither stayed on the ground for about 10 minutes before being lifted onto a cart. He had movement in both arms and legs and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for tests on his neck and shoulder.

"It sounded like he was OK and it was more a precautionary thing," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.

Trailing 17-7 at halftime, the Ravens made it 17-14 when Terrell Suggs hit Brady for a sack and knocked the ball out of his right hand. Dwan Edwards recovered in the end zone for a touchdown with 6:19 left in the third quarter.

But Brady remained unshaken and led the Patriots downfield on their next possession, a 79-yard drive that ended with his touchdown pass to Moss. Brady unloaded the ball early as he was being blitzed, underthrowing it and allowing Moss to step in front of Domonique Foxworth for an open catch.

Moss caught 23 scoring passes in 2007, his first season playing with Brady, who was sidelined for all last season except for the first half of the first quarter of the opener.

The Ravens responded with an 80-yard drive, 50 coming on a run by Ray Rice and the final 13 on the pass to McGahee

The Patriots struck quickly after Brandon McGowan recovered Chris Carr's fumble as he returned the opening kickoff. But they couldn't get a first down and settled for a 32-yard field goal by Gostkowski.

Carr held on to the next kickoff and Flacco led the Ravens on a 15-play, 81-yard drive capped by a 20-yard scoring pass to Derrick Mason, who landed hard on his back but returned to the game. Mason had six catches for 77 yards on the drive.

The Patriots went ahead 10-7 on the next series with a 1-yard sneak by Brady then made it 17-7 with 3:57 left in the half as Sammy Morris scored on a 12-yard run.

The Ravens then drove from their 20-yard line to the Patriots 17 with a chance to cut the deficit to 3 at halftime. But Leigh Bodden intercepted Flacco's pass at the 9.

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