fb-pixel Skip to main content
Jim McBride | Between the hash marks

Loss of Mac Jones hurt, but most of the Patriots’ wounds were self-inflicted against Ravens

Nelson Agholor was stripped and fumbled with the Patriots trailing, 31-26, with 5:45 left in the game.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — The potential loss of Mac Jones was the final punch of an afternoon full of body blows the Ravens delivered in their 37-26 win over the Patriots Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

New England’s most severe wounds, however, were self-inflicted. The Patriots committed turnovers on four of their final five drives, capped by Marcus Peters’s interception on which Jones suffered a potentially serious left ankle injury.

It was Jones’s third interception of a game the Patriots led early in the third quarter before their late-game meltdowns.

“The easiest way to stop yourself is by turning the ball over and we just can’t do that,’’ said running back Damien Harris (11 carries, 41 yards). “We can’t do that at the end of the game, we can’t do that at any point in the game. It’s an unfortunate part of the game and it’s something we’ll all learn from.’’

Advertisement



Still, despite the mistakes, the hosts had an opportunity to take the lead, but Nelson Agholor was stripped from behind after a 28-yard completion and the Ravens pounced. Lamar Jackson’s 9-yard TD run put the game out of reach — at 37-26 — with three minutes left.

“We talk about all the time — ball security,” Agholor said. “That loses games. I had an opportunity at the end there, where I made a play and it could have been a big play. Guy comes out of nowhere and he makes a good play.’’

Jones’s most costly pick was his second. With the Patriots trailing, 31-26, but knocking on the door at the Baltimore 10, Jones floated one to DeVante Parker in the corner of the end zone, but it was snagged by Marlon Humphrey.

“We alerted that play, alerted the call, we reloaded and there was just some miscommunication,’’ Parker said. “But that’s something we’ll fix.’’

Advertisement



Jones appeared despondent on the sideline following the turnover, taking a seat on the defense’s bench, instead of his normal spot. After some encouraging words from some teammates, Jones grabbed a tablet and started going over plays. He was then joined by quarterbacks coach Joe Judge for a fireside chat.

On a bright note, how about Parker?

If there was a silver lining to New England’s dismal day, it was the uprising of Parker, who caught five passes for 156 yards — just 3 yards off his career high.

With Jakobi Meyers inactive because of knee injury, Parker stepped up and clearly had Jones’s eye as he targeted him 10 times — double any other pass catcher.

It was reminiscent of how Jones and Parker operated during camp but they had yet to show it through two weeks.

“Mac was just putting the ball in the right spot and I was in the right area at the right time, coming down with it and making plays,’’ said Parker, who registered his 12th career 100-yard game.

Parker had catches of 40, 31, 24, 36, and 25 yards, prompting the stadium DJ to play “You Dropped A Bomb On Me,’’ after one of the connections.

Confidence in Hoyer

Agholor, Parker, and Kendrick Bourne all expressed confidence in Brian Hoyer if the 14-year veteran is called into duty next week in Green Bay.

Hoyer has not only been a guiding light for Jones, but also is a respected leader in the locker room for his work ethic and professionalism.

Advertisement



“Brian knows what he’s doing, knows the offense, it’s just about us backing him up,’’ said Bourne, whose locker is right next to Hoyer’s. “It’s just about having his back. That’s my job, the O-line’s job, everyone’s job is to support him, help him better, and step into that role … He’s a great vet, he’s taught me a lot.’’

Mac making like Lamar (sort out)

The play of the day from the Patriots’ perspective came on a fourth and 1 when Jones made like Lamar Jackson, fixing a broken play and moving the chains.

It looked as though Jones was ready to hand to Rhamondre Stevenson, but the back took off into the flat on a pass pattern (he was covered immediately), and Jones scrambled and found Jonnu Smith on the other side of the field for an 8-yard gain.

The Patriots scored two plays later to trim the deficit to 31-26.

It was a momentum-swinging series as the Patriots got the ball back immediately on a Rashod Bateman fumble. They couldn’t capitalize, however, as Humphrey’s pick took the steam out.

Wise was a sack machine

Jackson’s magic was on full display (five total touchdowns) and his ability to seemingly pull the hidden ball trick on every snap was impressive.

The Patriots did land some hits on the Baltimore wizard, however. Deatrich Wise Jr. was a force, registering three first-half sacks. It was the first three-sack effort from a Patriot since Chandler Jones in 2015.

“Deatrich Wise played out of his mind,” said fellow defensive lineman Davon Godchaux.

Advertisement



Matthew Judon also was credited with a sack when he chased his former teammate out of bounds. Judon is just the second Patriot to register a sack in each of the first three games, joining Hall of Famer Andrew Tippett, who had one in the first four games in 1986.

It was Judon’s 50th career sack and he is one of nine active linebackers to reach that mark.

Guy injures shoulder

Jones wasn’t the only Patriot hurt, as rugged defensive lineman Lawrence Guy left with a shoulder injury and did not return. There was no immediate word on his condition … Jones’s rushing touchdown was the first of his career and he celebrated with the Griddy Dance. Several of his teammates greeted him with their own versions when he got back to the sideline … Justin Tucker’s 56-yard field goal was the Ravens kicker’s 50th career boot of 50-plus yards … Meyers (knee), safety Kyle Dugger (knee), linebacker Raekwon McMillan (thumb), cornerback Shaun Wade, defensive end Sam Roberts, and quarterback Bailey Zappe were New England’s inactives … Daniel Ekuale made his season debut after the defensive lineman was suspended for the first two weeks … Safety Joshuah Bledsoe made his NFL debut … Rookie guard Chasen Hines was active for the first time but did not get in the game … Devin McCourty wore a Vince Wilfork jersey to his postgame press conference and said the new Patriots Hall of Famer was a big influence in his life as a young player … Wilfork was honored at halftime and also delighted the crowd by taking a big gulp of beer when he showed up on the scoreboard during the game.

Advertisement



More Patriots-Ravens coverage

• Shaughnessy: There was a time when championships were all we knew, but those glory days appear long gone

• Sullivan: Mac Jones’s injury cast a heavy pall of concern in the locker room for the Patriots

• On Football: Quarterback Lamar Jackson breaks new ground in leading the Ravens over the Patriots

• Ravens 37, Patriots 26: There was just too much for the Patriots to overcome

• Yang: Mac Jones injured in Patriots’ loss to Ravens

• On the bright side: DeVante Parker announced his presence with authority

• Instant Analysis: Patriots finally put some points on the board, but this loss shows they aren’t ready for prime time

See what Bill Belichick had to say about the Patriots’ turnovers in frustrating defeat to Ravens



Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.