New Englands unbeaten season is alive, but only after another close shave, this time against one of the top defenses in the NFL. Tom Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney with 44 seconds left, and the Patriots survived a last-second completed pass near the goal line to edge the Baltimore Ravens, 27-24, on a cold and windy night. The Patriots (12-0) moved 73 yards in 13 plays and took advantage of a couple of penalties and a late timeout call on the winning drive, maintaining their bid to join the 1972 Dolphins as the only teams in NFL history to run through a season unbeaten. The Ravens (4-8)came into the game as the fourth-ranked defense in the NFL and nearly stopped the high-powered Patriots, but ended up losing their sixth straight game in snake-bitten fashion. Down 24-20, New England took over the ball at its own 27 with 3:30 left following a punt. Brady moved his team to the Baltimore 30, but facing 4th- and-1 was seemingly stopped on a sneak up the middle. However, the Ravens coaches called a timeout from the sideline. Then on the next play, Heath Evans was stopped up the middle on a run, short of a first down, but a false start penalty on the Pats gave them another chance. On 4th-and-6, Brady then scrambled up the middle, coming to a sliding stop at the 18, and five more yards were tacked on thanks to an illegal contact call on Samari Rolle. Later, facing a 4th-and-5 from the 13, Bradys pass to tight end Benjamin Watson in the end zone was tipped away by cornerback Jamaine Winborne. However, Winborne was called for holding, and on the next play, Brady lofted a pass to Gaffney in the left corner of the end zone. Gaffney appeared to bobble the ball slightly as he brought it in while getting two feet down, but after a replay the call stood. After the play, Ravens linebacker Bart Scott was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct and was given a second 15-yard penalty for throwing the officials yellow flag into the stands. The Ravens had one last chance, and Kyle Boller completed a 52-yard prayer pass to Mark Clayton inside the five, but he was tackled by a host of defenders at the three on the final play. New England barely got by the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday night, and on this Monday night the unblemished run nearly came to a halt in a city Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is all too familiar with. Belichick, who grew up in Annapolis, MD, got his first NFL job as a special assistant with the Baltimore Colts in 1975. Now the AFC East champions return home to face Pittsburgh (9-3), the AFC North leaders, with an opportunity to clinch home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs next weekend.