(From Guardian Unlimited)
Looking ahead This game may be finely balanced, but Paul Holland's focus is already firmly fixed on the upcoming Giants-49ers match-up. "The one thing I do wonder about in the NFC game is whether or not the 49ers can rise to the occasion two weeks in a row?" he writes. "That was a big emotional win against the Saints, and it might be hard to match that level of intensity again. That could be a problem against a Giants side whose speciality is big play-off wins on the road." You'll be able to follow that game with my colleague Michael Solomon right after this one, by the way '
Puppy Bowl "Puppy Bowl is becoming a pre-game tradition," tweets @murphnd, explaining her earlier missive. "It's literally just puppies playing for 3 hours ." Oh dear. Am I the only one reminded of the spectacularly awful Air Bud 2? Even by the already low standards of the animal-joins-a-sport-team movie genre, that was a low mark .
End of 2nd quarter: Ravens 10 Patriots 13 Wow - surprisingly timid approach from Bill Belichick, who tells Brady to take a knee and let the clock run down on the first half. The Pats will have the ball first in the second, but still seems out of character to pass up the chance to add more points there. A mark of his respect for this Ravens D.
Ravens 10 Patriots 13, 0:58 2nd quarter Flacco connects with Pitta for a 15-yard gain to keep the Ravens' drive alive, but although he connects with the tight end for another eight yards on the next play, the drive dies out with two incompletions at the Baltimore 49. It's a lucky break after that for the Pats, as Welker mishandles the punt but the ball bounces off his pads and out of bounds at the New England 10.
Ravens 10 Patriots 13, 1:56 2nd quarter Oher, back in the game after his injury, false starts to make it third and 14. And then the Pats call a time-out. "Rematch!" tweets @carl_brace. "Revenge of Pats denied perfection by greatest catch in NFL history, Eli > Payton potential HOF entry of Coughlin."
Two minute warning: Ravens 10 Patriots 13We reach the TV time-out with the Ravens looking at third and nine on their own 31, but they oh so nearly took the lead moments ago, Flacco winding up and launching the ball as far as he could downfield after seeing Smith racing away beyond New England's safeties yet again. The receiver was yards ahead of the nearest defender as the ball came down, but he couldn't quite …