The New England Patriots are no longer undefeated after suffering a road loss to the Baltimore Ravens in prime time on Sunday Night Football.
The New England Patriots‘ quest for a perfect season came to an end after they fell to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night. The Patriots are now 8-1 heading into their bye week, and they will have plenty to work on during their week off.
New England’s defense was shredded by Baltimore’s dynamic rushing attack, led by quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram. The Ravens found the end zone four times versus a Patriots defense that had previously only allowed four touchdowns entering this game on the season.
Tom Brady and the offense showed some signs of improvement, but they are still a work in progress. The Patriots may have found their identity in the passing game, but they ultimately couldn’t do enough to keep up with a Ravens offense that was firing on all cylinders.
The Patriots were not able to come away with a win in Week 9. They did not look like the dominant team we had seen in their last eight outings of the season. As a result, the gap between New England and the rest of the AFC doesn’t seem as large as it did a week ago.
Here are the top takeaways from Week 9:
In a loss like this, you have to appreciate the little things. Folk went 2-2 on field goals and 2-2 on extra point attempts in his Patriots debut. Perhaps he can be the kicker that Pats fans have been searching for all season long.
New England has been shaky in the kicking game this year. They have missed at least one field goal or extra point attempt in six of their nine games in 2019. All of Folk’s field goal attempts were chip shots, but no kick has been a gimme for the Patriots this season… so we shouldn’t take any of them for granted.
Sanu had a breakout game in his second appearance as a member of New England’s receiving corps. He hauled in 10 of his 14 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown.
His emergence was one of the few bright spots for New England in Week 9. The fact that Brady already trusts Sanu enough to target him more than any other Patriots receiver shows that the two have begun to build a rapport.
Baltimore ran the ball down New England’s throat all night. The Ravens were consistently winning at the point of attack. The Patriots were gashed for 155 rushing yards in the first half alone. The defense tightened up a little in the second, but by then it was too late.
New England struggled against the No. 1 ranked rushing offense in the NFL. While no team can duplicate what the Ravens do offensively, stopping the run appears to be the weakness of this Patriots defense, and other teams will be looking to exploit that.
Time of Possession
The Ravens did a tremendous job of putting together multiple long scoring drives and keeping Tom Brady and the Patriots offense on the sideline. Baltimore dominated the time of possession battle, thanks in large part to their ability to run the ball at will against a gassed New England front seven who were on the field for 37 minutes.
The Patriots’ decision to go up-tempo on offense for much of this contest also ended up hurting them in this aspect of the game.
The Ravens were able to hit Tom Brady early, which made him uncomfortable all night. The Patriots may have only given up two sacks in this game, but they also allowed 10 quarterback hits.
New England struggled with blitz pickup all night. That is something they will have to get better at if they want to protect their 42-year-old quarterback. Isaiah Wynn’s probable return in the near future will help weather the storm, but their offensive line issues go beyond just one person.
The Patriots are known for their discipline, but they were lacking in that area versus the Ravens in Week 9. They made a critical error on the Ravens’ opening drive of the game by committing a neutral zone infraction on a fourth down field goal attempt, and it ended up costing them four points.
That set the tone for the rest of the night, as New England would go on to commit a total of seven penalties for 48 yards, per ESPN’s recap of the game. This will likely be a point of emphasis for the Patriots during their bye week.