fb-pixel Skip to main content
Ben Volin | Instant Analysis

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

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ran all over the Patriots and accounted for five touchdowns, four through the air.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — Instant analysis from the Patriots’ 37-26 loss to the Ravens:

▪ Sunday’s game felt like an improvement in some ways for the Patriots. The offense finally put up some points and hit a few big plays. The defense forced a few turnovers and gave the offense a chance to win it.

But the loss proved the Patriots aren’t ready for prime time, yet. This was a wounded Ravens team down to its fourth-string left tackle and missing almost its entire defensive line. Yet the Patriots couldn’t make the key plays to win, on either side of the ball.


There was Mac Jones’s interception in the fourth quarter with the Patriots driving for the go-ahead score. Nelson Agholor fumbling the game away late. The Patriots missing a 2-point conversion.

On defense, it was letting Lamar Jackson scamper 38 yards through the defense. Devin Duvernay and Mark Andrews coming down with jump balls for touchdowns. The Ravens rushing for 188 yards and averaging 7.2 yards per carry.

The Patriots showed signs of life, especially with their offense. But they’re still a long way from being competitive with the NFL’s good teams.

▪ This was the Patriots’ third game of the season, and second time Jones came off the field injured. Jones’s final pass of the day was intercepted, and he hopped off the field and went right into the locker room with a left leg/foot injury.

Jones threw for 321 yards, and had several positive moments despite throwing no touchdowns and three picks. More than anything, Jones showed impressive toughness — he scrambled five times for 31 yards and a touchdown, and took several big hits, like on the 2-point conversion. If Jones has to miss significant time, the Patriots’ season will be in real trouble.


▪ The Patriots’ defense badly missed safety Kyle Dugger, one of their fastest defenders. Add in Lawrence Guy going out in the second half, and the defense struggled all day against Jackson and the Ravens’ offense. Jackson wasn’t perfect, taking four sacks and throwing a bad interception in the first half. But he toyed with the Patriots in the second half, and ultimately finished with 107 rushing yards, 218 passing yards, and five total touchdowns.

Losing Dugger shows how thin the Patriots’ depth is. The defense isn’t supposed to fall apart when one player is out. But they are still short on athleticism.

▪ One good development — the Patriots finally developed a deep passing game. It was all DeVante Parker, as he finished with 156 receiving yards, and all five of his catches went for at least 25 yards. Parker did a little bit of everything — he caught jump balls over defenders, and showed great run-after-catch ability with a 31-yarder on a slant pass.

Jones seemed to lock onto Parker a little too much, particularly on the interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter. But this was the Parker that dominated the Patriots in Week 17 of 2019, and the Parker that the Patriots envisioned they were getting.

▪ The Patriots’ offense showed a little more creativity. Jones operated from under center a little bit more this week, the Patriots used a little more two tight-end sets, and the Patriots incorporated some more play-action, with Jones hitting Parker for 40 yards over the middle. But it was still mostly a shotgun, three-wide receiver day, and the offense still struggled in key areas. The Patriots went just 2 for 9 on third down, only 3 for 5 in the red zone, and couldn’t convert on two gotta-have-it plays – a fourth and 3 in the first half, and the 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter.


Sunday’s game felt like a decent building block for the Patriots’ offense, but the numbers were deceiving. They’re still a ways off.

▪ The Patriots looked as if they had turned the corner in the third quarter after taking a 20-14 lead. They stole a field goal at the end of the first half with a nice 30-second drive, then scored a touchdown on their first drive of the second half. A double-score with 10 points — just like old times. Unfortunately, the Patriots couldn’t keep the momentum going.

▪ Another rough game for right tackle Isaiah Wynn, who had two penalties for 15 yards for the second straight week. He has been the weak link on offense so far.

▪ The Ravens were down to their fourth-string left tackle after an injury in the first quarter, and Deatrich Wise had a career day, with six tackles and three sacks, plus a tackle for loss. Wise became the first Patriot with three sacks in a game since Chandler Jones in 2015, and the second Patriot to do it in the first half (Henry Thomas, 1998 vs. the Rams).


More Patriots-Ravens coverage

• 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

• McBride: Most of the Patriots’ wounds were self-inflicted against Ravens

• 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

Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com.