By: Matt Turner
The New England Patriots suffered a stinging 17-point loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, and here is why:
On Sunday Night Football, the Patriots took on the Ravens in a prime time match-up at a sold out M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens came out fired up and played with their hair on fire, which ultimately led to the demise of the Patriots.
The Ravens immediately went up 17 points, and had their way with the New England defensive line all night.
The Patriot defense was able to somewhat match the Ravens intensity after they went down 17, but it was a case of too little, too late.
The Patriots were able to bring the game within 4 points, but penalties, as well as a Julian Edelman fumble that led to a 70-yard scoop and score, was ultimately the nail in the coffin to end a potentially perfect season.
Patriots: Positives and Negatives
- Mohamed Sanu – In his second game with the Patriots, Sanu looks like he has already earned the trust of quarterback Tom Brady. The two connected 10 times for 81 yards and a touchdown. The veteran looked like the best receiver on the field for New England and was able to complete extended plays with Brady, who showed excellent poise and presence in the pocket all night.
- Lawrence Guy – As an ex-Raven, Guy had the best night out of all the D-linemen for the Patriots. Guy posted 4 tackles, 2 of which were for a loss, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, and a fumble recovery. Being bullied in the trenches on both sides of the ball, Guy was one of the very few bright spots for the New England line.
- James White – Always a key cog in the Patriots offense, White had 2 catches for 46 yards and a team-high 9 rushes for 38 yards, with a TD in the 3rd quarter. White also had a highlight reel catch, “mossing” Ravens safety Earl Thomas.
- Penalties – The Patriots committed seven penalties for 48 yards. The Ravens got out of three third down situations due to New England penalties, and were able to get out of a 4th & 3 due to a neutral zone infraction, which ultimately led to seven points.
- Run defense – The Patriots run defense got pushed around all night. They were out-manned and outplayed. The Ravens averaged 5.1 yards per rush and had 210 yards on the ground.
- Marshall Newhouse – Newhouse was getting beat on the edge for a good majority of the night. His holding penalty on a 3rd & 15 conversion was a drive killer. Also, getting beat on the edge during another drive which caused an intentional grounding pushed the Pats out of field goal range, and led to a Patriots punt.
Ravens: Positives and Negatives
- Lamar Jackson – Jackson went 17/23 for 163 yards and rushed 14 times for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns. This kid is legit. The option play, his speed, and throwing ability, complimented by an extremely strong offensive line, led LJ to a career day. It was undoubtedly one of the biggest wins of his extremely brief career.
- Run game/O-line – The Ravens ran 38 times for 3 touchdowns and a total of 210 yards. The Pats defense stalled them momentarily, but had no real answer for the trio of Jackson, Mark Ingram, and Gus Edwards.
- Time of possession – With a TOP of 37:01, the Ravens kept the ball out of Tom Brady’s hand, and had their way with the defense. This continues to prove the point that time of possession against the Patriots is their true kryptonite.
- Offense stalled – Partially due to Marlon Humphrey‘s 70-yd scoop and score, the offense wasn’t able to put up any points for nearly two whole quarters.
- Defense struggled with no huddle – As Humphrey stated after the game, the no-huddle was effectively working for New England at some points. Other than the limited span of the game where the Patriots were succeeding with the no huddle, the Ravens defense was stout against the likes of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
The Patriots proved that they are human, while the Ravens showed they are serious contenders in the AFC. It was a statement win for Baltimore and a reality check for New England. This is a match-up that we very well may see again come January.
Bottom Line and Looking Forward
In the Patriots first real test of the season, they were humbled by a strong Ravens team.
Jackson and the Ravens came out on fire and kicked the Patriots in the teeth. They ran all over “the Boogeymen,” who looked like a ghost of their previous selves as Halloween has passed.
Although the Pats got knocked back, they rallied, not enough to secure the victory. Penalties and a 70-yard scoop and score was enough to keep Baltimore ahead.
The Patriots fall to 8-1, while Baltimore moves to 6-2. With this win under their belt, Baltimore moves onto the winless Cincinnati Bengals next week.
Atop the AFC North, the Ravens are now looking poised to make a run come January. As the Patriots move into the bye week, 8-1 is still the best record in the AFC.
Although the playoffs currently go through New England, Baltimore has proved that they are a team who can potentially knock them out when it matters most.
Cover photo via: Todd Olszewski/Getty Images
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