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Refusing to use the brace as an excuse, Flacco said, “I would have liked to play better. The brace had nothing to do with anything.”

Baltimore trailed 20-0 late in the third quarter when Ray Rice was stuffed for no gain on a fourth-and-1 at the New England 4. That effectively ended any chance of a comeback.

The Ravens scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Flacco with 9:21 left, enabling Baltimore to avoid its first shutout loss since 2002, against Tampa Bay.

It was of very little consolation to the defending champs.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” safety James Ihedigbo said. “Definitely a frustrating loss.”

New England scored on a 7-yard run by Blount with 2:05 to go to make it 27-7, then added another touchdown when an errant snap eluded Ravens backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Chandler Jones recovered the ball in the end zone.

Tavon Wilson capped the scoring with a 74-yard interception return with 40 seconds remaining.

Baltimore’s previous three games were decided by three points or fewer, but it became evident early that this one would not be close.

New England went up 7-0 on its second possession. A 34-yard pass interference penalty against Jimmy Smith put the ball at the Baltimore 1 before Blount bulled into the end zone.

Three plays later, Flacco threw into double coverage and was intercepted by Ryan at the New England 47. After completing a 34-yard pass to Danny Amendola, Brady connected with Shane Vereen for a 4-yard score.

The Patriots quickly got the ball back, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 45-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter to make it 17-0.

Shortly after halftime, the Ravens went for it on fourth-and-3 at the New England 39 and Flacco threw an incomplete pass.

Baltimore’s next possession ended with Ryan’s second interception of the game and fifth of the season. Seven plays later, Gostkowski kicked a 42-yard field goal.

Flacco tried to rally the Ravens, but after a 42-yard completion to Torrey Smith produced a first down at the New England 13, he couldn’t get into the end zone.

Notes: New England DB Devin McCourty left with a head injury, and Vereen left with a groin injury. … Tucker’s miss was his first since Week 2. … Baltimore finished with more yardage, 358-300.