Ravens condemn Patriots to first loss of season
The New England Patriots and their undefeated start to the NFL season came to an end following a 37-20 loss to the streaking Baltimore Ravens.
After eight consecutive wins to open the campaign, Super Bowl champions the Patriots fell to the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday.
It was Baltimore's fourth straight victory as they improved to 6-2, while the Patriots dropped to 8-1 – leaving the San Francisco 49ers as the only unbeaten team remaining.
Three takeaways from Ravens' win over Patriots
Lamar Jackson is the real deal
If it was not evident already, Baltimore's Lamar Jackson is one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks.
The second-year star out of Louisville threw for 163 yards on 17-of-23 passing for one touchdown and no interceptions. He added another 61 yards on the ground on 16 attempts for another two scores.
6 more for 8 pic.twitter.com/Xo48PSHLVr— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 4, 2019
Jackson's athleticism was on full display all night as he consistently extended plays with his feet, found open receivers down the field and eluded a pass rush from the Patriots' tenacious defense.
After dropping back-to-back games to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns in September, Baltimore have quietly won four in a row.
New England's defense have rough night
Through their first eight games, the Patriots had been anchored by their defense.
Heading into Sunday's contest, New England had allowed 10 points or fewer five times, including two shut-out wins over the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots got their first taste of a potent offense on Sunday and they had no answer. Baltimore jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter and managed to pull away in the fourth.
New England's defense surrendered a season-high 37 points and 26 first downs to Baltimore.
Needless to say, the Patriots were not exactly at their best against the Ravens.
Patriots still in the NFL's top tier
As rough as Sunday's loss was, New England are still in the league's upper echelon.
The Patriots remain favourites for the AFC East title. Head coach Bill Belichick does have several challenges ahead of him, though.
New England play the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Kansas City over their next four games after facing little to no competition in the first half of the season.
Based on their track record, one can assume the Patriots will do just fine as long as Belichick's roaming those sidelines and Tom Brady is still under center.