A second viewing of the Patriots' loss to the Ravens didn't do much to change the original thinking that the Patriots suffered a handful of assignment lapses and that largely led to their demise.
Outside of that, and for a good portion of the game, the Patriots did fine against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens defense. With the Ravens rested and prepped coming off a bye week, it was going to be a tall task for the Patriots to hold the fort. Would you hope they'd get a few more key stops to get off the field and change the complexion of the game? Yes, but the other guys get paid too, and you have to give credit to Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman for pushing all the right buttons at key moments, and for his players coming through when it mattered most.
Among the game-changing plays the Ravens made:
- Hollywood Brown's diving catch on the first third down, followed by the Patriots going offsides on the field-goal attempt;
- Mark Ingram's 53-yard run where it appeared Ja'Whaun Bentley was out of his gap;
- The 18-yard throw and catch from Jackson to Mark Andrews on a 50-50 third-down ball;
- The fourth-down completion to Willie Snead on a well-timed and legal pick play;
- Someone (likely Terrence Brooks) blowing man coverage on Nick Boyle's touchdown;
- Two third-down penalties by the Patriots on the Ravens' final scoring drive.
Those are plays the Patriots usually make and the opponents don't. But on this night, everything largely went the Ravens' way in that regard. It happens, especially when you play against an unconventional scheme without additional prep time. If there's a rematch, I'm fully confident the Patriots can get back to holding the Ravens at least in the 20s.
The defense better have that kind of performance because, after this game, my confidence that the Patriots' offense can be much better the second time around — or against any capable coordinator and unit — is waning.