Patriots vs. Ravens score: New England upsets Baltimore in the rain for second straight win
Baltimore struck first but couldn't catch up down the stretch as the rain poured down
The New England Patriots could barely beat the winless New York Jets in Week 9 after enduring their own four-game losing streak. On Sunday night, however, they more than held their own against one of the consensus top contenders in the AFC, outdoing the Baltimore Ravens both on defense and in the ground game. Lamar Jackson and Co. struck first in Week 10's prime-time affair, moving the ball methodically early on, but thanks to big nights for both Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead, as well as some timely stops from the defense under heavy rainfall, the Patriots secured the upset and their second straight win, a 23-17 decision.
Here are some immediate takeaways from Sunday night's AFC showdown:
Why the Patriots won
They played exactly the kind of offensive game they needed (and, frankly, the one they must rely on moving forward): a ground-and-pound approach with lots of "pound" from the combo of Damien Harris and Rex Burkhead. If you count Burkhead's catch-and-run work, the duo combined for 187 yards, plus an average of 5.8 yards per touch. In other words, they carved up Baltimore's "D" all night. Cam Newton's rushing numbers weren't special, but he played a part there simply by being present, and more importantly, he was also careful and efficient throwing the ball -- the perfect manager for a run-based night.
It was a wild Week 10 Sunday, and there's a lot to go over. John Breech, Ryan Wilson and host Will Brinson break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
On the other side of the ball, the Pats were just as impressive, rebounding from a poor start that signaled a potentially huge night for Baltimore to log impact plays (most notably J.C. Jackson's interception) and keep the Ravens buried for much of the second half.
Why the Ravens lost
The Patriots stole their bread and butter. While the Ravens came into Week 10 as the NFL's top rushing team and one of the league's top defenses, neither area looked much like a specialty Sunday night. Lamar Jackson had his fair share of drive-saving dashes, per usual, and Mark Ingram looked explosive out of the gate, but somehow they got just 60 total yards from their running back trio. The protection and receivers were even worse, with only a nice Jackson-to-Willie Snead TD standing out in the grand scheme of the game.
Defensively, Baltimore's depth got tested up front and off the edge, but they still crumbled a bit too much in crunch time, getting fooled by the Pats' trick Jakobi Meyers TD pass and too often allowing Newton to orchestrate a quick scoring drive when he needed one.
Second down, seven seconds left in the first half. The Patriots had just taken a three-point lead after perfect execution on a trick-play TD, but the Ravens were threatening to retake the lead by driving all the way into New England territory with under a minute on the clock at the start of their series. Then Lamar Jackson took a deep shot to Marquise Brown, and instead of the pass setting up a Justin Tucker field goal to even things up, it landed right in the arms of J.C. Jackson, erasing Baltimore's shot at points, keeping momentum with the Pats and carrying New England's surprise lead into the break.
Play of the game
This was never in doubt. As soon as Newton tossed the ball to Jakobi Meyers, who then floated a beauty of a deep TD to a streaking Rex Burkhead to put the Patriots up 13-10 before halftime, the trickery was guaranteed to end up on the highlight reel.
The Ravens (6-3) will be back at home in Week 11, when they're set to host the Tennessee Titans (6-3), who will have the advantage of extra rest following their Thursday night loss to the Colts. The Patriots (4-5), meanwhile, will hit the road to take on the Houston Texans (2-7), who are fresh off a loss to the Browns.
Pretty bad loss for the Ravens here. They'll drop to 6-3 and are now three full games back of the Steelers, who own the tiebreaker.
Patriots pull off the upset and defeat the Ravens, 23-17 on Sunday Night Football. Damien Harris the star offensively and J.C. Jackson once again comes up with a pick.
This is by far the hardest it's rained all night.
Right as Lamar Jackson takes the field to try and win it for Baltimore, the rain intensifies.
Well, it's all coming down to this third-down play. If the Ravens can get a stop, they'll give Lamar Jackson a little over a minute to try to work the ball downfield, with no timeouts, in the driving rain. If not, it's over.
Burkhead is having a really nice game. He's another guy who is always productive when he's healthy but just isn't always healthy.
Ravens come up empty. Their drive gets absolutely gutted by a bad snap that forces Lamar Jackson to dive on the loose ball 16 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Jackson is giving it his all out here, making guys miss on the scrambles, but he can only do so much. So New England gets the ball back after the punt with a chance to milk the clock and potentially extend their lead.
We've got half a quarter left. Who's going to step up? It's been a pretty even fight in the rain tonight. Ravens now with maybe their last best chance to regain a late lead, down 23-17.
Nick Folk's missed extra point now looms large over this game. Patriots lead by just six and the Raven offense has the ball with a little over seven minutes to play.
Damien Harris just limped off the field. He's been good in his limited opportunities during his career, but seemingly always banged up in some way.
Hold on to your hats!
Uh, I think Marcus Peters may have known what was coming on that last play of the quarter. He practically took the hand-off from Cam Newton.
Lots of credit to Lamar Jackson on that drive. His elusiveness comes in handy several times, turning potential disasters into gains in and around the pocket, and then he delivers a perfect TD pass to Willie Snead to make this a one-possession game. It's now 23-17 Patriots with lots of time left in this matchup.
Ravens scrapping their way into scoring territory here. Gus Edwards with the nice run on fourth down. Lamar Jackson slipping and sliding in the rain to pick up yards outside the pocket. Baltimore needs points here.