In Order for the Patriots to Succeed, They Needed This Wake-Up Call

BALTIMORE, MD- It seems like the sky is falling in Boston. The first lost since week 15 of the 2018-19 season and 323 days ago for the New England Patriots is what this team needed in order to succeed.

Lamar Jackson’s running game carved up the Patriots “boogeymen” defense. Spy or no spy on the mobile QB, the best defense in the NFL couldn’t handle Jackson’s elusiveness. With over 60 rushing yards on the night and a mix of 163 passing yards, the young QB was too much for the Patriots defense.

“We’ve all got to do a better job. We competed out there. It wasn’t good enough… everybody has to do a better job. That starts with me,” said head coach Bill Belichick.

Racking up over 160 yards of rushing himself, Ravens RB Mark Ingram made it even harder for the New England defense. If it wasn’t Jackson scrambling and extending plays outside of the pocket, it was Ingram running it right down the Patriots’ throat. Something Nick Chubb and the Browns had success with last Sunday. If we can take away anything from this game vs. the Ravens, it’s that the Patriots need help with their run defense as it seems their pass defense is near lockdown.

Props go out to Ravens QB Lamar Jackson for having a dominating performance on the ground. The evasive style of play is something the Ravens will have to build upon all season. The throwing aspect of Jackson’s game is still shaky as he had many short passes, overthrows and even clanked a sidearm throw off of his own lineman’s helmet. All in all, Jackson and the Ravens seem to breakdown NFL defenses with his college-style attack. Baltimore is an odd team, however as they were blown out by the Browns early in the season. There’s no doubt that New England is still the team to beat in the AFC but the Ravens did their job in putting doubt into some football minds. Postgame, it was all respect for Tom Brady as he and Lamar Jackson respected each other’s game:

Having one of his best games of the season, Tom Brady threw for 285 yards and a touchdown as he went 30/46 in pass completions Sunday night. With rookie WR N’Keal Harry a game-time scratch, Brady targeted his number one WR Julian Edelman, RB James White, and newly acquired WR Mohamed Sanu. “It’s great, we’re seeing how we work off each other and we’re learning each other as we’re going along,” said Sanu when asked about the relationship with Brady.

It was very interesting to see Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels and the Patriots use James White as a receiver at some points of the game. Expect to see White used in the receiver role a little more this season as the Patriots offense seemed to have a lot of success with it.

While the Patriots seemed to get handled pretty easily by the Baltimore Ravens, it wasn’t all gloom for New England. The Patriots had over 300 yards of total offense and seemed to be driving the ball against a gassed Baltimore defense all night long after the first quarter of play. It was an Edelman fumble in the red zone, returned for a touchdown that took the momentum from the Patriots early in the third quarter. Postgame, Edelman had this to say about his costly turnover:

Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy also brought some light to things postgame, saying “It’s a good learning tool. We take that and keep fighting. We’re a good brotherhood. We’re going to pick each other up and learn from our mistakes.” Something that needed to be said after the first real poor performance from the Patriots defense.

The Patriots clearly didn’t play or embody the typical New England style on Sunday night. Here’s what QB Tom Brady had to say:

Don’t worry, Boston. The sun came up this morning and the Patriots are still 8-1, two games up in the win column as the best team in the AFC. In order for the Patriots to succeed the rest of the season, this loss needed to happen. This loss will change the way Belichick, Brady and the Patriots prepare and it will change how they go about things in the future. The first loss in over thirteen total games, dating back to last year is something to be proud of.

[Thumbnail photo via Todd Olszewlsi/Getty Images]

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