9/28/22 By Nick Antonakas
BOSTON – The New England Patriots lost their home opener at Gillette Stadium to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in what was a game full of ups and downs for the Pats.
With the loss, the Patriots dropped to a 1-2 record in the year while the Ravens now stand at 2-1. While the final score sat at 37-26, at different points of the game, things looked a lot better for New England.
While the Ravens struck first with a touchdown pass from Lamar Jackson to star tight end Mark Andrews, the Pats fought back with a field goal. The Patriot’s defense played an amazing first half, sacking Jackson multiple times to keep his and Raven’s offense in check.
After two relatively disappointing offensive games from New England, sophomore quarterback Mac Jones and company showed signs of real improvement this week, responding to Raven’s score with a rushing touchdown of their own from Mac Jones.
Despite there only being 30 seconds left in the half, New England uncharacteristically made a push for a score, with Mac Jones and the offense driving down the field to set up Nick Folk for another field goal to make it a one point game, closing the half at a score of 14-13 in favor of Baltimore.
Starting with the ball in the second half, New England wasted no time on the offensive front. In a 7 play, 75 yard drive from the Pats that almost ended in what would’ve been a pick 6 from Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen, saw Patriots running back Damien Harris punch in the touchdown, putting the Pats in front, 20-14.
The Ravens were not ones to flinch, as they scored touchdowns on back to back drives to propel themselves back into the lead by a score of 28-20. Things didn’t get much better for the Pats as Mac Jones was intercepted by Josh Bynes, giving the ball back to Baltimore in New England territory.
The Patriots defense was able to step up again and hold the Ravens to a field goal, giving the ball back to Jones and the offense. Following the failed two point conversion in what was almost another amazing play by the Patriots, New England cut the Ravens lead to five, trailing 31-26.
On the Ravens first play of the drive, Jonathan Jones was able to punch the ball out of the hands of Ravens wide receiver Rashad Bateman to give the ball back to the Patriots in Baltimore territory. The Pats were able to work their way down to the red zone, but Mac Jones was intercepted again off a pass intended for Devante Parker in the corner of the end zone, giving the ball back to the Ravens.
New England’s defense continued to hold strong, forcing Baltimore to punt, but the Patriots turned over the ball once again thanks to a Nelson Aghelor fumble at Baltimore’s 27 yard line.
In a game that seemed like an amazing improvement at times looked like a major setback at others. While the Patriots defense looked great, they still gave up 37 points.
While Mac Jones was making amazing innovative plays at times and the offense looked to be revived thanks to a 156 yard game by Devante Parker, they totaled four turnovers, all of which took place at pivotal points of the game.
To put a cherry on top of the negative sundae, Jones looked to be seriously hurt at the end of the game, putting a huge question mark at the QB spot for New England. What better way to put a hot and cold team to the test than with a matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers? New England travels to Lambeau Field next Sunday for a date with Green Bay, kickoff is at 4:25 est.