FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - In a matter of minutes, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots went from being the team of the last decade to looking old, overmatched and, oddly, inept.
Fans sat in frozen silence. Barely into their seats, they saw the shocking truth on the scoreboard.
Five minutes into the game, New England trailed the Baltimore Ravens, 14-0. Just 1 minute later the crowd came to life, booing Brady and his teammates who hadn't lost a playoff game at Gillette Stadium.
Until Baltimore's 33-14 win yesterday in the AFC playoffs.
"I'd have been booing us, too, the way we played," Brady said. "Playing the way we played today, we weren't going to beat anybody."
From the very first play, Ray Rice and the running Ravens were in control.
Rice ran 83 yards for a touchdown, Brady had three of his four turnovers in the first quarter and Baltimore had knocked off the team that had changed into an inconsistent, mistake-prone group this season.
"Their era is not over, they know how to win," Rice said, "but for the Ravens, to beat the New England Patriots set a precedent. We'll always remember this win."
The Ravens (10-7) were only slight underdogs to the team that won three Super Bowls from 2002 through 2005. That myth faded as quickly as Baltimore charged into their early lead in a game that began with a wind chill that made it feel like 8 degrees.
Rice and his running mates heated up early and led after the first quarter, 24-0.
Now, if they beat host Indianapolis and Peyton Manning Saturday night, they'll reach the AFC Championship Game for the second straight year as a wild-card team.
Brady was 23-for-42 for 154 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.