New England Patriots defeat Baltimore Ravens, 23-20

FOXBOROUGH — New England’s fascination with undersized, overachieving athletes is well-documented.

Doug Flutie, Dustin Pedroia, and Wes Welker have been embraced in these parts for their fierce competitiveness.

Anyone who told Flutie he was not capable of being a Division 1A quarterback had to be stunned when he won the 1984 Heisman Trophy at Boston College. Anyone who sold Pedroia short as a major league prospect had to be taken aback when the Red Sox second baseman wa...

FOXBOROUGH — It wasn’t so much the What as the How.

“A good one,’’ said center Dan Koppen. “We gutted it out in the end. An old-fashioned win for us.’’

The Boston College guy is one of the few remaining Patriots with a Super Bowl pedigree. He remembers when the Patriots routinely shrugged off deficits to good teams, made all the key stops on defense, and then manufactured the scoring drive to win another (yawn) Big Game. Not everyone on this team knows that feeling.

FOXBOROUGH — Before this season, Patriots coach Bill Belichick removed all the pictures of New England’s past triumphs and big moments from the walls inside the football offices at Gillette Stadium.

The idea was partly to give a team that had undergone a dramatic makeover in the previous two years, one that had become much younger, a chance to forge its own identity, to create its own memories.

Their objective is to put their own pictures on the walls.

After yeste...

FOXBOROUGH — The margin between the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens yesterday was 3 points and one Hall of Fame-bound quarterback.

The discussion all week centered on how the Patriots’ offense would respond to the loss of wide receiver Randy Moss. In fixating on the incomparable talent the Patriots lost, many lost sight of the one they have, that rarest of NFL species, the unflappable franchise quarterback. The truth is that it doesn’t matter to whom Tom Brady is thro...