By: Ryan Kirouac
In the NFL, when the New England Patriots lose, everybody wins.
In Week 9, the Patriots suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in what appeared to be a bit of a blowout.
Up until that point, the Patriots have been mopping the floor with opponents.
Their closest game was a six-point win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Belichick’s defense has put up historic numbers, beating the likes of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, and even the 1985 Chicago Bears.
The defense, led by Stephon Gilmore, Devin McCourty, and Jamie Collins has played lights out. If you remove the touchdowns given up by special teams and the offense, the Patriots were only allowing five points per game.
That’s right, just five points.
That is, until the Ravens arrived. Right off the bat, the Patriots gave up 17 straight points in the first half to go down 17-0.
So, when you look at New England’s previous eight opponents (who all have a combined record of 14-38), you have to ask: Are the Patriots even really that good?
Yes. They really are that good.
Whenever the Patriots lose, the world loves to jump on the “New England is done” train. It happens every year.
It happened after the blowout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018. It happened in 2014 after the Kansas City Chiefs blew them out on Monday Night Football and Tom Brady got benched for Jimmy Garoppolo in the 4th quarter.
Blame the schedule all you want. The Patriots have absolutely dominated the opposition throughout the first eight weeks of NFL football. What else do you want from a team coming off of its sixth Super Bowl title?
When you only look at the score, it looks like the Patriots were smacked around on Sunday night in Baltimore. Look a little deeper, and the story suddenly changes.
After starting out down 17-0, the Patriots roared back in the second quarter with huge defensive stops and some great offensive drives. If it weren’t for James White tripping on his offensive lineman, the score would’ve been 17-17 at the half.
Ravens score 17 unanswered, Patriots score 17 unanswered.
In the second half, the Ravens had absolutely no answer for the Patriots no huddle offense, a trend we might see more of after the bye week. The only thing that flipped momentum back to Baltimore was the fumble by Julian Edelman, which was returned for a touchdown.
By no means did the Ravens get handed a win. They were the better team that night. But, after a season where the Patriots got blown out by Jacksonville, Detroit, and Tennessee, and then won the Super Bowl, are we really going to write them off after a loss to the next best team in the AFC?
Don’t let the Patriots become underdogs again. There is nothing better in New England than clam chowder and doubters.
Even the greatest teams of all time have had a bad game and there is a reason people say that the NFL is the hardest sport to win a game in.
The 1985 Bears gave up 38 points to the Miami Dolphins in their only loss of the season and nobody was calling them frauds, despite having the 11th easiest schedule that year.
Patriots fans shouldn’t be worried. They still control the AFC. If Baltimore has to come to Gillette come January, it will be the Ravens fans who should be biting their nails.
Patriots Remaining Schedule:
@ Philadelphia Eagles
vs. Dallas Cowboys
@ Houston Texans
vs. Kansas City Chiefs
@ Cincinnati Bengals
vs. Buffalo Bills
vs. Miami Dolphins
Cover photo via: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
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