BALTIMORE — You've seen this movie so many times that you're stunned and confused when the outcome isn't the exact same.
The Patriots fell behind the Baltimore Ravens 17-0 on a crisp, cool night near the Patapsco River, but we've seen that before. Even in Super Bowls. The Patriots have usually overcome it.
We've seen their defense get gashed to the tune of 198 yards on the Ravens' first three possessions ... and make it an afterthought.
There have been other nights when TomBrady spends more time on the turf than throwing touchdown passes ... and the Patriots find a way.
They've even had some killer turnovers that seemed to end any hopes of a comeback. And then men wearing the Flying Elvis pick up their teammate by roaring back to take the lead and win the game.
But that didn't happen on this night. Why? Because the Ravens didn't wilt when most teams would have. They put their foot down and left an unmistakable message in the wake of their 37-20 victory that said, "We're still here, and we're not going away."
They were ... Patriot-like.
That much we know ... for one game and one night. Many others will dissect this loss for the Patriots and look for a larger meaning. You'll hear phrases like blueprint, overrated, strength of schedule and Kryptonite that wears purple and has a No. 8 on his chest.
That's fine. That's what a performance like this earns you. The Patriots have ripped the hearts out of so many teams and coaches that when it's their turn, they have to take it. And let it stew over an ill-timed bye week.
But just because others talk in those terms doesn't make it true. What a loss like this means as far as the Patriots and this season is this: