FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal on New England's second series to give the Patriots a 3-0 lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday.
The kick with 6:21 left in the first quarter capped a 13-play, 67-yard drive on which Tom Brady completed five of seven passes for 55 yards.
Both teams punted on their first possession before the Patriots began their scoring drive at their 21-yard line after a 50-yard punt by Sam Koch.
The Patriots began the series with Brady's 8-yard completion to Brandon Lloyd. The pair teamed up for three completions, gaining 37 yards, on the drive.
A win Sunday would send the Ravens (12-6) to the Super Bowl for the second time and extend the 17-year career of linebacker Ray Lewis, who has said he will retire after the season.
A victory would put the Patriots (13-4) in their eighth Super Bowl, tying the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most all time, and Brady in his sixth.
It would be the Patriots' second straight appearance in the NFL title game and third in six years.
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.
The winner of the game plays the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
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