- Pats stop Ravens, playing a well-rounded game, with all the players contributing.
- Injury woes hurt an already damaged Baltimore.
- The next two games for both sides may decide the season.
Pats Earn Their Second Straight Win
After beating the Jets last week, in a not so shiny performance, the Pats silenced all the critics with a victory over one of the top Super Bowl contenders, the Baltimore Ravens. The game ended 23-17, for the hosts, who were excellent in all the areas on the field.
“We’re a hard-nosed, tough football team,” said Cam Newton at the press.
His defensive teammates held the Ravens scoreless throughout the first and the last period, which eventually helped the Pats to reach their fourth triumph of the year. The guests had four drives in the final 15 minutes but weren’t able to score from either of them.
DE Chase Winovich was harassing the reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, with 11 of the Pats’ 19 disruptions.
On the other side, Cam Newton had a good night with just 118 passing yards, but without turnovers and with one pass for a score and one rushing touchdown. WR Jacoby Meyers had a 24-yard TD toss, hitting Rex Burkhead in the end zone. Burkhead had two touchdown receptions, and 66 yards from the scrimmage.
Damien Harris needs to be mentioned, even though he didn’t score a touchdown. New England’s running back had 121 rushing yards in 22 reps, constantly hurting one of the best defenses in the entire NFL. Even though Baltimore had numerous issues, his contribution can’t be diminished.
The recent injuries could be the main reason for the Ravens’ recent struggles. During the game with the Patriots, Baltimore lost TE Nick Boyle, and ended the same without four of their starters, most notable Calais Campbell.
Of course, in the situation when Baltimore plays bad, all the eyes are pointed towards Jackson, who is expected to lead the team. He had a solid night against the Pats, with 249 passing yards for two touchdowns and an interception. Yet, in the critical moments, he couldn’t find the solution on how to move the visitors.
“We’re ticked off,” Jackson said. “Don’t nobody like losing … especially when we have a lot of talent on our team. We’ve just got to regroup.”
Willie Snead IV was the only one worth mentioning besides Jackson among the Ravens, with the wide receiver catching the football five times for 64 yards and two scores.
Ravens don’t have too much time to regroup and forget this loss. Already next week, Jon Harbaugh’s crew has a very challenging game against the AFC South contenders, the Tennessee Titans, and after that, travel to Pittsburgh to meet the undefeated Steelers. That will be the last chance for them to preserve some chances of winning the AFC North.
The Patriots also have two games of colossal importance to them. Next week they head for Houston to face the Texans in a must-win match. With a victory there they would reach 5-5, and keep their playoff hopes alive. Following the clash in Texas, New England comes home to await the Arizona Cardinals.