By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick is going to have a field day with this game film during New England’s bye week. The Patriots suffered their first loss of the season Sunday night, 37-20 to the Ravens in Baltimore, and they didn’t look very good throughout.
The defense was not the historically great unit we’ve seen all season, and got schooled by second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson. The offense had trouble finding a rhythm, as they have for much of the season. Both sides had some costly penalties.
The main theme among Patriots players and head coach Bill Belichick after the lost was the team “wasn’t good enough.” No one would argue on that front.
In their first real test of the 2019 season, the Patriots came up short just about everywhere. They mounted a nice comeback in the second quarter, but then stalled again in the second half. Now they have to sit on this one for two weeks. Their bye week is not going to be very fun, especially with New England’s schedule getting a whole lot tougher over the next month.
Here are the Ups and Downs from Sunday night’s loss.
The first quarter was brutal for the Patriots. The Ravens picked up 133 total yards and had a 10-0 lead. The Patriots had four yards and their first double digit deficit since last November.
The Patriots offense went three-and-out on their first drive and had the ball for a grand total of 24 seconds. They picked up a first down on their second possession, and then Tom Brady was sacked on third down and they had to punt again. They ran seven total plays in the quarter.
It’s been a problem all season, but one that didn’t matter too much. It mattered Sunday night.
The Ravens absolutely gashed the Patriots up the middle all evening. Baltimore rushed for 210 yards, picking up 5.1 yards per carry. Mark Ingram had 115 yards on just 15 carries, good for 7.7 yards per carry. That number is a bit inflated by a 53-yard run by Ingram, but yikes.
The only thing scary about the New England linebackers — usually known as The Boogeymen — was their inability to stop anyone who was running with the football. Over the last two weeks, the Patriots defense has allowed 369 rushing yards. Yeeeeesh.
Those little yellow flags really hurt the Patriots on Sunday.
It looked like the defense had held Baltimore to a field goal after a lengthy first drive. But then Shilique Calhoun was flagged for a neutral zone infraction on Baltimore’s field goal attempt, keeping the drive alive for the Ravens. That’s a big no-no for a core special teamer, and it gifted the Ravens four points. Jackson took it in from three yards out on the very next play, giving Baltimore a 7-0 lead.
The Pats offense was flagged on back-to-back plays in the second quarter, and it killed their drive. Brady got flagged for an intentional grounding, and then Marshall Newhouse got hit with a hold on what would have been a first-down connection between Brady and Phillip Dorsett. Newhouse had another rough game, highlighted by this penalty.
Dont’a Hightower was flagged for being offside that negated a third-down stop in the fourth quarter. Jason McCourty was hit with an illegal hands to the face penalty later in the quarter that also negated what would have been a third-down stop.
The Pats were flagged seven times in the loss. They did themselves no favors in this one.
The Patriots had all the momentum heading into the second half, ending the first half with 13 unanswered points. They got the ball to start the third quarter, and were in Baltimore territory when Brady hit Julian Edelman with a short pass. But after the receiver broke away from one tackler, he coughed up the football. Marlon Humphries scooped it up and took it 70 yards for the touchdown, giving the Ravens a 24-13 lead.
Edelman was clearly gassed after making three straight catches, but that was an extremely costly turnover by a very reliable player.
Third Down Offense
Both times Brady was sacked came on third down. His pass to Edelman on a third-and-goal in the second quarter was knocked away by Earl Thomas. Then Thomas picked off a terrible overthrow by Brady on a third-down pass in the fourth quarter.
The Pats were just 5-for-13 on third down. That’s not going to get it done.
Brady Got Crushed
The Ravens put 10 hits on Brady, including eight in the first half alone.
Pats Cash In On Cyrus Jones Muffed Punt
Remember Cyrus Jones? He’s still trying to return punts, but he coughed one up in the second quarter following a Patriots three-and-out. It was only fitting that former Raven Justin Bethel came up with the recovery for the Pats.
It gave New England the ball at the Baltimore 20, and the Pats cashed in a few plays later…
Sanu Comes On Strong
Brady hit Mohamed Sanu for a four-yard score on that free drive after Jones’ gaff. Edelman and Ben Watson set a great pick for Sanu on the play, his first touchdown with the Patriots. It cut their deficit to 17-7.
Sanu had a great game with 10 receptions on 14 targets for 81 yards and the touchdown. He’s only played two games with the Patriots, but it looks like the veteran receiver is already in Brady’s circle of trust.
Edelman-White Back-to-Back Catches
Edelman’s fumble realllllllllly hurt. But he had 10 receptions on 11 targets, including this dandy right before halftime.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 4, 2019
And then James White one-upped his teammate with this incredible snag on the very next play.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 4, 2019
That was over Earl Thomas, who is no slouch. Those are two pretty ridiculous catches on back-to-back plays.
Lawrence Guy was a bright spot on the defensive line. On Baltimore’s opening drive, he made a big third-down stop that should have kept Baltimore to a field goal try — but the Pats got Calhoun’d instead. He had the team’s only sack of Jackson, which came on the second drive of the game and forced a third-and-10. The Ravens settled for a field goal on that one, because no one jumped into the neutral zone. He also scooped up Ingram’s fumble in the second quarter.
On a night where there weren’t too many defensive highlights, Guy provided a few of them.
The Patriots punted from the Ravens 37-yard line, opting not to go for a 55-yard field goal with Nick Folk. On that play, Bethel kept Jake Bailey’s punt out of the end zone, and Nate Ebner was able to down it at the Baltimore 6. The Ravens fumbled a few plays later, and the Patriots had the ball back at the Baltimore 19.
Bethel had a big game on special teams. Some would even call it a revenge game for the former Raven. Let’s roll with it.