BOSTON (CBS) — Julian Edelman is as reliable as they come in the Patriots offense. But he feels he let his team down after a costly fumble in Sunday night’s 37-20 loss to the Ravens.
The Patriots got off to a slow start in Baltimore, falling into a 17-0 hole before mounting a comeback in the second quarter. Trailing just 17-13, momentum was on New England’s side when they took the field for the second half. Tom Brady had the Patriots threatening to take control of the game on their first possession out of the break.
With the offense set up at the Baltimore 30-yard line, Brady went Edelman’s way with a short pass. As he has done thousands of times before, Edelman forced one defender to miss and looked destine to gain some extra yards. But when linebacker Patrick Onwuasor wrapped him up, the receiver lost his handle on the football, and all of that momentum was gone.
Edelman fumbled for the first time since 2016, and it was a big one. Marlon Humphries picked up the loose ball and scampered 70 yards to the end zone, putting Baltimore up 24-13. After the game, Edelman was his biggest critic in the New England locker room.
“Put us in a hole. You can’t turn the ball over against a team like that when they can hold the ball that long. I feel like I let my team down, but we have to move on,” Edelman told reporters after the loss. “It just wasn’t our day. You have to tip your hat to the Baltimore Ravens, they played a good game.”
Edelman finished the game with 10 receptions for 89 yards, four of which came on that first drive of the second half. But that fumble, and the loss in general, are not going to make New England’s bye a very fun week for No. 11.
“It’s definitely tough. You have to think about it, it’s at the back of your throat the whole time. We can go two ways from here; you can learn from it and get better and move on, or you can go the other way,” he said. “I have faith we’re going to learn from it and get back to where we need to be, go on from there.”
Edelman’s miscue was certainly costly, but it’s not the only reason the Patriots suffered their first loss of the season. The defense was awful against the run, with the Ravens torching them for 210 yards on the ground. The offense was just 5-for-13 on third down, and the Patriots were hit with seven costly penalties. Edelman wasn’t the only one with a turnover either, as Brady wildly overthrew Mohamed Sanu early in the fourth quarter and was picked off by Earl Thomas. The Ravens scored a touchdown off that possession.
Brady refused to blame Edelman after the game, saying his receiver was trying to pick up some extra yards. And the Patriots were able to find the end zone on their next drive, cutting Baltimore’s lead to 24-20.
“I was happy with the way we responded,” said Brady. “We came back and scored again.”
But in the end, that wasn’t enough. Now the Patriots will have two weeks to dissect everything that went wrong on Sunday, and they hope to grow from their litany of errors on Sunday.
“Losses always find a way to recalibrate how you see yourself. We obviously have a lot of work to do,” Brady said. “It just wasn’t good enough. To get beat by 17 points, that’s not what we’re all about.”