Rice ran 83 yards for a touchdown with frigid fans still settling into their seats, Tom Brady had three of his four turnovers in the first quarter and Baltimore knocked off New England 33-14 on Sunday in the AFC playoffs.
» Baltimore's 24 points in the first quarter tied for the second-most in NFL playoff history ( Raiders led 28-0 after first quarter agains Oilers in 1969).
» Ray Rice's 83-yard TD run was the second-longest run in NFL playoff history (that was the first TD on the first play from scrimmage in a playoff game since at least 1983).
» The Patriots suffered their first home playoff loss since a 1978 Divisional Playoff vs. the Oilers.
"One thing we said as an offense is we want to start games fast," Rice said. "I wanted to be the guy today to start fast, whether it was a 5-yard run or an 83-yard run. I wanted to be the guy to say this will be a fast-tempo game. We want the other team to play catch-up to us."
Now, if they beat Indianapolis and Peyton Manning next Saturday night, they'll reach the AFC championship game for the second straight year as a wild-card team.
"We'll enjoy it," safety Ed Reed said, "and I know what's next. No. 18 is coming. I know it, and he knows we are coming."
Not even Brady, the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, could overcome his mistakes and the absence of the league's leading receiver Wes Welker. Brady was 23 of 42 for 154 yards, two touchdowns passing and three interceptions.
But it was hardly a one-man collapse.
Randy Moss, covered tightly by Domonique Foxworth, caught only five passes for 48 yards. The Patriots' defense was so porous, allowing 234 yards rushing, that Joe Flacco only had to throw 10 passes, completing four for 34 yards. Rice rushed 159 yards for a team that averaged 182.6 on the ground in its previous five games.
The Patriots (10-7) tried to rev up the crowd by sending the injured Welker onto the field on crutches for the opening coin toss. It didn't work. Six minutes into the game the crowd was booing the team that hadn't lost at home all season.
"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."
By the end of the first quarter it was 24-0.
"Any time we get a lead, it's hard to come back on our defense," the third stingiest in the league, linebacker Ray Lewis said.
They were 8-0 this season, the only AFC team to go unbeaten at home. Brady was 7-0 in playoff games at Gillette. And they had won their last 11 home playoff games there and at Foxborough Stadium, since their last loss in 1978.
The Ravens pressured Brady into mistake after mistake, and not one penalty was called against them for being too physical with the NFL's 2007 MVP who missed all but the first quarter of last season's opener with a left knee injury. After the Patriots' 27-21 win over the Ravens in Foxborough on Oct. 4, Lewis complained about roughing the passer penalties that helped the Patriots on two touchdown drives.
Brady has played much of the time since then with injuries to his ribs and a right finger. That affected his accuracy, leading to an inconsistent season. Without Welker, the NFL leader with 123 catches, Brady was missing his most reliable receiver who bailed him out time and time again.
Rice scored on the first offensive play and Brady fumbled the ball on the fourth play when he was sacked by Terrell Suggs, who recovered it. Five plays later, all runs, McClain scored from 1 yard.
Notes: Shawn Springs and Sam Aiken of the Patriots did not return after suffering head injuries. ... Mark Clayton, Derrick Mason, McGahee and McClain each caught one pass for Baltimore.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press