Written by Shannon MacDevine
The Pats suffered their first loss of the season to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night. Now at 8 & 1, the 37-20 loss will send the Patriots into their bye-week on a sad note.
What to say… After their first loss of the season, the Pats are going into their bye week with grim expressions. Though a loss is never a good thing, the beating the Pat’s took was hard to swallow.
The First Half
After winning the coin toss, the Patriots deferred as is customary, but it may have come back to bite them in the ass this time around. From the first drive of the game, the Ravens held authority over the field, and their momentum carried them to the finish line first.
In the opening drive, Baltimore scored a touchdown after having possession of the ball for over six minutes giving them a 7 to 0 lead. Hoping to answer right back, the Pat’s offense went no-huddle but gave the ball back within thirteen seconds.
The Ravens followed up by holding the ball for an additional five minutes scoring a field goal. All in all, the Patriots only had possession of the ball for two minutes and twelve seconds during the first quarter.
Moving into the second quarter, things didn’t look much better as the Ravens scored another TD giving them a cushy 17 point lead. Thankfully, the Ravens muffed their following punt reception, giving the Pats control of the ball on the Raven’s 20-yard line.
With a quick toss to James White who ran the ball 16-yards to the Raven’s 4, Brady threw a shotgun pass to Mohamad Sanu finally putting them on the board. Sighs of relief were also heard throughout New England as new kicker Nick Folk kicked the ball right down the middle of the uprights for the extra point.
Those sighs continued as Folk made a 22-yard field goal after a fumble recovery by Lawrence Guy, plus a 19-yard field goal narrowing the lead to a one-score spread (13 to 17) before the second half.
The Second Half
One aspect of the Patriot’s game plan that has come to their rescue time after time is their ability to adapt to an opponent during half time. Hopes were high that the second half would put the Pats back on top, but it was not to be. In Pat’s second-half opening drive Edelman fumbled the ball letting the Ravens gain another seven points.
Though Brady answered right back with a handoff to White for a TD, it would be their last score of the game. After all was said and done, the Pat’s offense had trouble moving the ball and only had possession of the ball for right under twenty-three minutes.
The offense does not deserve all the blame, though. The defense also struggled to contain the Raven’s offense allowing them to score 30 out of 37 points.
While the Ravens did dominate ball possession, both teams had a difficult time holding onto the ball. The Ravens had two fumbles that were both recovered by New England. The Pats also had two fumbles, one recovered by Baltimore, and one interception late in the fourth quarter.
When looking at the overall game, it is clear that the Patriot’s D was not prepared for the Raven’s running game. With four rushing players on the field, the Raven’s rushed for 210-yards and a 53-yard rush by Mike Ingram plus 3 rushing touchdowns.
In comparison, the Pat’s longest rush of the night came from running back Sony Michel for 10-yards; though he only had 4 carries for a total of 18-yards. Running back James White had 9 carries for 38-yards and a touchdown. Fellow RB Rex Burkhead tied with Michel for 18-yards rushing and 4 carries.
While the rushing game may have been solely in favor of the Ravens, the passing game looked better on the Patriots. Quarterback Tom Brady threw 46 passes for 30 completions for a total of 285-yards plus a touchdown. Raven’s QB Lamar Jackson threw 23 passes for 17 completions for 163-yards and one touchdown.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman caught 10 out of 11 pass receptions for 89-yards. Coming in right underneath, WR Mohamad Sunu caught 10 of 14 pass receptions for 81-yards and a touchdown. The longest pass reception of the game was caught by RB James White for 30-yards.
Tight end BJ Watson, WR Phillip Dorsett, RB Rex Burkhead, and RB Sony Michel also held their own with 8 receptions among them and 115-yards total.
Ranked the number one defense in the NFL, the Pat’s D struggled to stop the Ravens from moving the ball downfield. The Raven’s QB Jackson definitely escaped the defenses game plan as he rushed for 61-yards himself and ran in two touchdowns.
Jackson also managed to only go down once when Lawrence Guy got the sack on him during the first quarter. Guy also recovered a fumble forced by linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Cornerback Justin Bethel also recovered the muffed punt by the Ravens in the first quarter which led the Patriots to their first TD of the game.
Sunday night’s loss didn’t necessarily come as a surprise to everyone. The Pats have had a pretty easy line-up so far this season. Going into the match up with the Raven’s, the Patriots knew it would be a battle such as they had not fought yet this season.
It also did not help that they had eight key players on the questionable list for the game. Many of those players did make the field, but whether they were in top-performing condition is another story. Among the questionable players there was Burkhead, Chung, Edelman, Izzo, LaCosse, Mason, Olszewski, and White.
Week ten brings the Pats to their bye and a much-needed rest. Hopefully, they will focus on what they need to do to overcome this loss. After the bye, the Patriots will face the Philidelphia Eagles in Philly for week eleven.
Hopes are high that this will be the only loss for Pat’s nation this season. Stay tuned.