I rarely, if ever blame the referees for a game. But this one, at least partially, is on them. Bill Belichick knows it. And the league knows it. And it's simply unacceptable that these amateur referees continue to officiate the premier league the sport has to offer.
Of course, the Patriots didn't make enough plays to win the game. And when all is said and done, when you go back and look at the tape, they couldn't make a stop on that last defensive drive when it counted. In fact, aside from a strong first quarter, the defense was gashed throughout much of the night. A very questionable Jerod Mayo pass interference call on a third down gave the Ravens new life in the second quarter. And from that point on, the momentum of the game changed, and the Patriots struggled to put points on the board. One of the things that was most troublesome: the Patriots' inability to generate any rush front their front four. Michael Oher had a great game against Patriots' rookie Chandler Jones.
All of this being said, there were some positives to take from this game, particularly on offense.
If one thing was clear from tonight: Tom Brady is back to being Tom Brady. He had a terrific game, shaking off the rust from the Cardinals game. While the pass protection continues to be inconsistent, Brady was able to stand in the pocket at times, and found a rhythm with Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker.
The Patriots struggled to run the ball, working out of the no-huddle for the majority of the night. Because of that direction in the game plan, Danny Woodhead took the majority of the snaps on the night.
Overall, a loss that is going to be tough to swallow, considering how well the Patriots offense played. With the loss, the Patriots stand at 1-2. But they're far from having to hit the panic button. Had just a couple of things gone their way, had a couple of calls not gone against them - they'd be standing at 3-0. Nonetheless, week four's game against the Bills at home has immediately become a must-win.