Patriots vs. Ravens score, takeaways: Lamar Jackson throws four TD passes as Baltimore spoils Pats home opener
The Ravens improved to 2-1 on the season
The Ravens moved to 2-1 on the season and spoiled the Patriots home opener by earning a 37-26 win in Week 3 Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Baltimore's offense took advantage of New England being without safety Kyle Dugger early by zeroing in on tight end Mark Andrews, who hauled in two first half touchdowns. While the Ravens took an early lead, the Patriots did show some fight, which became a theme throughout the contest. After Andrews and Jackson connected on their second touchdown of the day, it looks like they were going to depart for the halftime locker room at the break with a four-point lead. However, Mac Jones and the Patriots offense marched down the field in 30 seconds to kick a field goal and head into the half down just 14-13.
Then, the opening drive of the second quarter was sparked by two chunk plays courtesy of Jones and DeVante Parker. The second gain from that duo brought New England down to the 1-yard line.
There, Patrick Queen could have flipped the game on its head but dropped what likely would have been a pick-six on a throw intended for Damien Harris. Instead of picking Jones off and taking it to the house to go up 21-13, Harris barreled the ball into the end zone on the very next play and the Patriots recaptured the lead.
That mistake didn't prove fatal as Baltimore would quickly retake the lead and go on a quick 17-0 run to go up 31-20 thanks to a couple of chunk plays on the ground. As was the case earlier in the game, the Patriots continued to hang around and brought themselves within five points, but a Mac Jones interception in the end zone and a later fumble by Nelson Agholor took the wind completely out of New England's sails. In all, New England had four second half turnovers, which proved to be their demise.
Lamar Jackson finished 18-of-29 for 218 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 107 yards and another touchdown. As for Mac Jones, he completed 22-of-32 for 321 yards and three interceptions. He rushed five times for 31 yards and a touchdown, but did leave this game late due to a lower leg injury.
For a more detailed breakdown of how this game unfolded, check out our main takeaways below.
Why the Ravens won
The Ravens were able to advantage of the opportunities that were in front of them all afternoon. With Dugger sidelined, that did leave a mismatch for Mark Andrews against that secondary, which Lamar Jackson was quick to expose with two first half touchdowns. When Lawrence Guy left the game after suffering a shoulder injury, running lanes were even more open for Baltimore as they had runs of 34, 38, 35, and 20 post-Guy departing.
Beyond injuries, the Ravens simply played complementary football. The offensive was able to match the Patriots essentially every time they score and when they defense started to shut them down, the offense continued to have its foot on the gas and went on a 17-0 run in the early stages of the second half.
Defensively, the secondary jumped at almost every poor throw made by Mac Jones and were able to create four second-half turnovers en-route to the win.
Of course, Lamar Jackson was the key cog in all this and continues to look like an MVP candidate. He finished his day with four passing touchdowns to go along another score on the ground and 107 yards rushing. Even with the Patriots getting to Jackson on four sacks, they couldn't contain him for all four quarters.
Why the Patriots lost
You've got to give the Patriots credit for clawing back at various points in the game, but the wheels fell off in the second half. Mac Jones continues to look a bit lost in the offense and had a number of head-scratching throws that seemed to be lofted into oblivion with the Ravens picking him off. While his three interceptions on the afternoon were bad enough, he likely should have tossed a pick-six at the goal line but Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen couldn't secure the ball. Now, the quarterback is injured on top of questionable play, so this offense is certainly still trying find its identity.
As for the defense, it did a solid job in the first half against Lamar Jackson, especially Deatrich Wise, who accounted for three of the Patriots' four sacks on the quarterback. However, they couldn't contain him for all four quarter and the turnovers by the Patriots continued to put them behind the eight-ball.
The final turnover by the Patriots was the final nail in the coffin. Still only trailing by five with over five minutes to play in regulation, Mac Jones connected with Nelson Agholor on a chunk play that was set to go for 28-plus yards and essentially flip the field. However, first rookie Kyle Hamilton punched the ball loss and forced the fumble which Baltimore recovered. On the next possession, the Ravens offense would drive 73 yards down the field, score a touchdowns and give themselves an 11-point cushion that they could ride to victory.
Play of the game
There were a couple of impressive plays in this game that are worthy candidates, but Mark Andrews' second touchdown of the day was particularly eye-popping. Just before halftime, Lamar Jackson had a blitzer coming right up the middle and the quarterback was able to loft a throw off his back foot -- in what almost looked like a fadeaway basketball shot -- in the middle of the end zone in the direction fo Andrews. The veteran tight end had Devin McCourty in his grill and still was able to leap over him, keep his concentration and make the catch.
From here, the Patriots will go on the road and travel to Lambeau Field for a Week 4 matchup with the Green Bay Packers. As for the Ravens, they'll head back to M&T Bank Stadium and await the Buffalo Bills.