The New England Patriots’ perfect season is no more. After winning its first eight games of the season, the team was unable to extend its winning streak on the road against the Baltimore Ravens: the home team jumped to an early lead and ultimately took advantage of the Patriots’ miscues to pull away late and win with a rather convincing score of 37-20. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the players that stood out during Sunday’s contest.
Loser: The run defense
The Patriots’ defensive weaknesses that were already on display entering the game were magnified by Lamar Jackson and company: New England struggled mightily against the run and ultimately surrendered 213 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Whether it was defensive linemen getting pushed out of position or linebackers taking bad angles in the middle of the field or on the edge, the Ravens’ physical style in combination with an elusive quarterback and rejuvenated Mark Ingram caused major issues for the Patriots’ already middling run defense.
Loser: WR Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman had a productive day as the Patriots’ number one pass catcher, and finished with 10 receptions for 89 yards — both team-highs. However, his fumble in the third quarter was a back-breaker: down four coming out of the half and with considerable momentum on its side, New England was driving for the lead when the veteran let the football slip out of his hands while trying to gain additional yardage. Edelman’s ability to make something out of nothing is a big reason why he is such a productive player, but it hurt him and the team here as it led to a Baltimore scoop-up and 70-yard return touchdown.
Winner: WR Mohamed Sanu
There are few silver linings coming out of Sunday night’s game but the performance of wide receiver Mohamed Sanu certainly was one of them. As is the case with Edelman, his performance cannot be properly judged in a black-and-white style — he appeared to not finish his route properly on Tom Brady’s fourth quarter interception, for example — but it was generally positive: the trade acquisition caught 10 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in just his second game for the Patriots.
Winner: DT Lawrence Guy
New England’s defense certainly had a bad day, but defensive tackle and ex-Raven Lawrence Guy had a solid performance. The 29-year old appeared to create a good upfield push multiple times on the night, leading to a sack — the Patriots’ only one on the day — and two tackles for loss. Furthermore, Guy was able to recover a fumble in the second quarter that set up a field goal and brought the team within seven points.
Loser: OT Marshall Newhouse
Ever since subbing in for an injured Isaiah Wynn it has become clear that Marshall Newhouse is a liability at left tackle, and a player not capable of playing consistently enough to protect a quarterback on a starting basis. Sunday was more proof of that: the Ravens wanted to test Newhouse early and often, and found success when attacking his feel for the game through stunts and blitzes. To make matters worse, the 31-year-old also had a holding call go against him that negated a 3rd and 15 conversion in the second quarter. Wynn can’t come back soon enough.
Winner: RB James White
With the Patriots using an up-tempo approach on offense for much of the night, James White played a big role and as usual delivered. While he finished the day with only two catches for 46 yards, he also added a team-high nine rushing attempts for 38 and a touchdown. New England had success running a fast-paced attack, and White’s abilities as both a receiver and a ball carrier played a big role in keeping Baltimore’s defense off balance.
Losers: LB Shilique Calhoun and the team discipline
New England does one thing better than other teams in the NFL and that is not shooting itself in the foot. Against the Ravens, however, the team did just that not just because of two turnovers and some bad run defense — it also was flagged seven times for a loss of 48 yards. Three of the penalties came on third down, with another coming on a 4th and 3 on the game’s opening drive: linebacker Shilique Calhoun infracted the neutral zone on a field goal attempt, giving Baltimore a new set of downs and ultimately a touchdown. It was a costly mental error for the core special teamer.
Winner: CB Justin Bethel
Speaking of special teams, recently signed Justin Bethel had a strong quasi-homecoming. The former Raven led the Patriots with two tackles in the kicking game and also recovered a muffed punt in the second quarter that set up the team’s first touchdown of the night. While his contributions on defense were again non-existent, the 29-year-old proved to be a strong coverage player yet again and solid running mate for veteran Matthew Slater.
Pats Pulpit Live: Week 9 at the Baltimore Ravens
Welcome to another edition of Pats Pulpit Live! The Patriots lost on the road in Baltimore to fall to 8-1 on the season. Host Brian Phillips has the instant reaction as the Patriots head into the bye.Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, November 3, 2019