Unable to solve the Baltimore Ravens' defense with his arm, Tom Brady had to beat them with his legs.
Brady's 1-yard leap on a quarterback sneak with just under 11 1/2 minutes to play accounted for the winning touchdown as the New England Patriots outlasted the visiting Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.
A botched last-second field goal by Baltimore allowed Brady and the Patriots to advance to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 seasons. New England will play either the New York Giants or San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis.
Brady tied Joe Montana for the most wins (16) in postseason history despite being held without a touchdown pass for the first time since Week 17 of the 2009 season
The Ravens had a chance to send the game into overtime, driving to the 14-yard line, but Billy Cundiff hooked a 32-yard field goal wide left with 11 seconds left. He had been 16 of 16 in the fourth quarter the past two seasons.
The Patriots' much-maligned defense came up big on three possessions in the final 7 1/2 minutes to secure the team's 10th consecutive victory.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown as New England booked a trip to the Super Bowl for the first time since completing a perfect regular season in 2007.
Brady threw for 239 yards and was picked off twice by the Ravens, but he and Bill Belichick became the first quarterback-coach tandem to reach five Super Bowls.
Flacco finished 22 of 36 for 306 yards with a two touchdowns and one interception as the Ravens outgained the Patriots 398 yards to 330.
Baltimore scored 10 points in under three minutes late in the third quarter to carry a 20-16 lead into the final quarter.
Flacco's 29-yard scoring pass to rookie Torrey Smith down the right sideline with 3:08 left in the quarter gave the Ravens their first lead at 17-16, and a fumble by Danny Woodhead on the ensuing kickoff led to Cundiff's 39-yard field goal.
Brady responded by leading an 11-play, 63-yard scoring drive that he capped with his fourth-down plunge to put the Patriots in front for good at 23-20 with 11:29.
New England's defense then stepped up. Linebacker Brandon Spikes intercepted Flacco with 7:22 to play, and the Patriots stopped Baltimore on fourth-and-6 with 2:53 to play when Ravens coach John Harbaugh eschewed a potential 51-yard tying field goal.
Baltimore got the ball back one last time with 1:44 remaining and Flacco drove them into scoring position, but New England's Sterling Moore came up with the defensive play of the game, slapping the ball out of the hands of wide receiver Lee Evans in the end zone with 22 seconds left.
Two plays later, Cundiff hooked his tying attempt as the Patriots avenged a playoff loss to the Ravens in January 2010.