BALTIMORE (AP) — Brandon Bolden scored his first NFL touchdown and Stephen Gostkowski kicked two field goals as the New England Patriots took a 13-0 lead over the Baltimore Ravens after the first quarter on Sunday night.
The game was billed as a rematch of last year's AFC championship contest, won by the Patriots.
New England took a 3-0 lead midway through the opening period, using a 59-yard pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker off a no-huddle play to set up the score. After Baltimore's Ed Reed made a jarring hit in the end zone to deny Julian Edelman a touchdown catch, the Patriots had to settle for Gostkowski's 37-yard field goal.
The completion to Welker allowed Brady to move past Hall of Famer Joe Montana (40,551 yards) and into 12th place on the NFL's all-time list for yards passing.
On the first play of the ensuing Ravens series, Joe Flacco was intercepted by safety Steve Gregory, who stepped in front of tight end Dennis Pitta and returned the pick 36 yards to the Baltimore 6-yard line. Three plays later, Bolden burst in from the 2 for a 10-0 lead.
After another three-and-out by Baltimore, Brady moved the Patriots 60 yards in 11 plays, culminating in a 49-yard field goal by Gostkowski. The drive was helped by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who flopped on Brady after the quarterback went into his slide on a 7-yard scramble.
Baltimore didn't record a first down in the opening quarter.
Ravens wideout Torrey Smith rejoined the team following the death of his 19-year-old brother, Tevin Chris Jones, in a motorcycle accident in Westmoreland County, Va., late Saturday night. Smith was informed of his brother's passing at the team hotel shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday and left the Ravens to be with his family.
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for Jones, whose picture was placed on the replay screens at the stadium. The Ravens also asked the fans to observe a moment of silence for former NFL Films president Steve Sabol.