The Patriots and Ravens never disappoint.
In the latest chapter of one of the NFL’s most underrated rivalries, Baltimore took advantage of a flurry of second-half turnovers from New England on the way to a 37-26 victory over the Patriots Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was 22 of 32 passing for 321 yards while receiver DeVante Parker added 5 receptions for 156 yards. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson had 12 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Jones was injured on the Patriots’ final play. After throwing his third interception, Jones limped off the field and headed straight to the locker room, appearing to be unable to put any weight on his left leg. Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not have an update on Jones’s condition when he spoke to the media after the game.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was terrific for Baltimore, hitting 18 of 29 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns while also carrying 11 times for 107 yards and a touchdown.
After a back-and-forth sequence in the first half, which included a pair of touchdown catches from Baltimore’s Mark Andrews and a 50-yard field goal at the end of the first half from Nick Folk, the Patriots took a 20-14 lead when Damien Harris plunged over from the two with 12:14 left in the third quarter.
That’s when Jackson showed his MVP chops, leading the Baltimore offense on three straight scoring drives — two of which culminated in touchdown passes from the quarterback — to turn a 20-14 deficit into a 31-20 lead.
New England cut the lead to five on a one-yard touchdown run from Stevenson (the two-point conversion failed), but a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers ultimately doomed New England. Jones was intercepted on a ball for Parker in the end zone, then Nelson Agholor fumbled after a big pickup in the open field.
Given the opportunity, the Ravens took advantage. Jackson tacked on another touchdown — his first rushing TD of the afternoon — to finish the scoring with three minutes to go.
A late Jones interception with just under two minutes remaining finished things.
Below are updates as posted throughout the game.
Patriots react to Mac Jones injury — 5:07 p.m.
There’s some uncertainty around the short-term future of Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, who appeared to suffer an ankle injury late in Sunday’s loss. But linebacker Matthew Judon’s feelings on Jones are clear.
”Mac is a hell of a quarterback,” Judon said. “We don’t know what happened. (But) I’m riding with 10. We have to play in the parking lot, we play at Gillette, whatever. I’m riding with him.”
Those feelings were echoed by players who came to the podium in the wake of Sunday’s loss, a game where Jones tossed a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions.
”Hopefully everything is all right with him,” receiver DeVante Parker said. “We just have to get it going. Next man up.”
”We just have no idea. I couldn’t tell you level of concern or anything. We have no idea,” safety Devin McCourty said when asked about Jones’ injury. “We just don’t know. We’ll have to see what it is and go from there as a team. We’ll continue to rally around him. It’s always next-man-up mentality.”
If Jones is unable to play, that next man up is likely veteran Brian Hoyer. It remains to be seen how Hoyer might perform next week against the Packers and beyond, but the confidence level in the 36-year-old remains high.
”He’s a leader. He’s a vet,” Parker said of Hoyer. “He knows the defenses. He’s seen it all. If anything happens, he’ll come out and do what he can to help the team.”
DeVante Parker: ‘When they called my plays, I had to make the play’ — 4:55 p.m.
One of the offensive bright spots for the Patriots on Sunday against the Ravens was receiver DeVante Parker, who caught five passes on 10 targets for a team-high 156 yards.
”Mac was just putting the ball in the right spot and I was just in the right area at the right time,” said Parker, who was three yards shy of tying his personal best for receiving yards in a game. “Just doing what I can to help the team.”
The New England passing game, which was without leader Jakobi Meyers (who had 13 catches through the first two weeks), said there was nothing different in his game Sunday as opposed to the first two weeks of the season.
”Noting was different. I felt good,” said Parker, who had one catch through the first two games of the season. “When they called my plays, I had to make the play.”
The one sour note involving Parker came in the second half when a ball intended for him the end zone ended up as an interception, one of four turnovers that ultimately doomed the Patriots.
”There was some miscommunication on that,” he said. “It’s something we’ll fix.”
Belichick laments Patriots’ turnovers in loss — 4:30 p.m.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick bottom-lined the reason behind Sunday’s 37-26 loss to the Ravens, a contest that saw the Patriots turn the ball over four times in the second half.
”You’re not going to win turning the ball over in the fourth quarter,” Belichick said. “We have to do a better job than we did on those plays, for sure.”
The Patriots cut the lead to five with 12:39 left in the fourth quarter, but a series of offensive breakdowns — including a pair of interceptions thrown by Mac Jones and a fumble by Nelson Agholor — doomed New England to defeat in the home opener at Gillette Stadium.
”We need to play better, we need to coach better, we need to do better,” Belichick said. “We made too many mistakes today in order to win.”
The Patriots had their bright spots, including DeVante Parker, who ended up with 156 yards receiving. In addition, there was the ground game that rushed for 145 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. It all added up to a 20-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
But the late mistakes ended up being the difference.
”We certainly had our chances today,” Belichick said. “We just weren’t able to take advantage of some of them.”
That mood was echoed by the players who spoke after the game.
”We did a lot of things to hurt ourselves,” said veteran offensive lineman David Andrews. “The old adage you can’t win until you keep from losing. I think this game kind of sums that up.”
Jackson runs for another score — 3:59 p.m.
Ravens 37, Patriots 26 | 3:00 left, 4th quarter
That was an absolutely deflating sequence for New England as Jackson and the Ravens answered the turnover with a seven-play, 73-yard drive to make it 37-26 (the extra point was no good).
Jackson has accounted for five touchdowns — four through the air and one on the ground. Baltimore now leads by 11 with three minutes left.
Another crucial mistake for Patriots — 3:51 p.m.
Patriots received Nelson Agholor fumbled after a catch-and-run over the middle with 5:35 left in the fourth quarter.
Turnovers have absolutely killed the Patriots here in the fourth quarter. First, the Mac Jones interception. Now, the fumble from Agholor. The Ravens get the ball at their own 27.
Mac Jones intercepted again — 3:42 p.m.
Mac Jones’s second interception, this one by Marlon Humphrey in the end zone, snuffs a Patriots drive that pushed into the red zone. But on third-and-10, Jones threw to the back of the end zone under pressure and Humphrey easily picked it off.
I suppose we should expect nothing less than when the Patriots and Ravens get together. It looked to be another excellent response from New England. Trailing by five and on defense, the Patriots got the ball back after Jonathan Jones punched the ball loose on a pass play from Jackson to Bateman. Jabrill Peppers scooped it up, eventually making his way down to the Baltimore 39.
A 10-yard scramble from Mac Jones and a pair of runs from Damien Harris got New England closer. But a floater from Jones — intended for Parker — was picked off in the end zone.
Baltimore will have the ball (and the 31-26 lead) at its own 20 with 9:06 remaining in regulation.
Patriots respond with touchdown drive — 3:30 p.m.
Ravens 31, Patriots 26 | 12:39 left 4th quarter
Rhamondre Stevenson capped a drive to start the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run with 12:39 left in regulation to make it 31-26 (after a wild two-point conversion that was overturned).
That’s the sort of response the Patriots needed. Stevenson got some excellent yardage on the ground, including an 18-yard pickup. Parker had a 24-yard reception. Jones had an eight-yard scramble that left him dangerously exposed, and delivered a great ball for Jonnu Smith on a fourth-down scramble to keep the series alive.
The series was (relatively) quick, efficient, and cut the Baltimore lead to five here early in the fourth quarter. Now, it’s on the shoulders of the defense, which has to find a way to get back to doing the sort of work it was able to execute in the early going.
One more note: Parker’s 156 receiving yards is three yards shy of his career high for receiving yards in a game.
We’re on to the fourth quarter — 3:24 p.m.
Three quarters are done. The Patriots are down 31-20.
Jones: 15-for-21, 242 yards, 1 INT; Stevenson: 10 carries, 68 yards; Parker: 5 catches, 8 targets, 156 yards
Ravens get a key defensive play, turn it into points — 3:19 p.m.
Ravens 31, Patriots 20 | 2:21 left, 3rd quarter
After Josh Bynes intercepted Mac Jones’s pass on second down to get the ball back in Baltimore’s hands, the Ravens didn’t get very far, but Justin Tucker drilled a 56-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 31-20 lead with 2:33 left in the third quarter.
As good as things looked for New England through two-plus quarters, the Patriots have hit the skids. Mac Jones tossed an ugly interception, giving the ball back to Baltimore at the New England 39-yard line. (It was the first interception of the day for Jones.)
The Patriots’ defense kept the Ravens out of the end zone, but a 56-yard field goal from Tucker was good. You never say never, but it’s worth noting that under Mac Jones, but New England has broken the 30-point barrier only four times. They need to make that five today if the Patriots are going to have a chance in this one.
Justin Tucker's 56 yard FG is the second longest in Gillette Stadium history. Gostkowski hit a 58-yarder against Carolina in 2018— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 25, 2022
Duvernay adds to Ravens’ lead — 3:12 p.m.
Ravens 28, Patriots 20 | 4:41 left, 3rd quarter
Devin Duvernay outjumped Myles Bryant to catch Lamar Jackson’s fourth TD pass and give Baltimore a 28-20 lead with 4:41 left in the third quarter.
It’s now three straight TD drives for the Ravens, who have started to take some momentum away from a New England team that looked to be in command at the start of the second half. Jackson has found some open spaces on the ground, including a 38-yard run (the longest of the day for either team).
He’s also found his form in the passing game, as he hit Duvernay with the four-yard touchdown pass to finish the drive. Mac Jones and the Patriots offense have to respond here.
Big return sets Ravens up nicely — 3:07 p.m.
After a nice punt return by Devin Duvernay (43 yards), the Ravens will get the ball at the New England 44 with 6:18 left in the third quarter.
Rookie Marcus Jones was the kick returner to start the possession for the Patriots. Wonder if we are going to see more of him on special teams moving forward, maybe taking some of the work off the shoulders of Myles Bryant.
Mac Jones is at 211 passing yards. His career high is 310, set last year against the Titans. (He passed Hugh Millen in carer passing yards — he’s now seventh all-time in franchise history in passing yards.)
Now the Ravens lead again — 2:59 p.m.
Ravens 21, Patriots 20 | 8:39 left, 3rd quarter
A Lamar Jackson to Josh Oliver touchdown pass has put Baltimore back on top in the third quarter.
It was an excellent response by the Ravens offense, a series that was capped by Jackson’s third touchdown pass of the afternoon. The sequence went seven plays and 75 yards and took 3:35, and finished when Jackson found Josh Oliver for the score.
The key play on that last sequence was a 21-yard catch by Duvernay, a third-down reception where he did an excellent job shaking Jalen Mills at the start of the route and finding separation over the middle. Good play by the young receiver. The Ravens built on that with a 34-yard gain from Justice Hill, the longest run of the day from either team, to get into the red zone.
One more note on Damien Harris and his last touchdown: he now needs one rushing touchdown to become the 14th Patriots player to reach 20 career rushing TDs.
Patriots take lead on first possession of second half — 2:47 p.m.
Patriots 20, Ravens 14 | 12:14 left 3rd quarter
Damien Harris’s 2-yard run put the Patriots back on top with 12:14 left in the third quarter.
It was an impressive drive: seven plays, 75 yards, 2:46. The play before the touchdown was nearly a pick-six, but the Patriots held on to take a second-half lead on the Ravens.
• This is the DeVante Parker the Patriots hoped they were getting. He had a pair of 30-plus yard catches in the first half and added a 40-yarder and 25-yarder on that last sequence, the first drive of the third quarter. They were a great pair of catches, with the first one highlighting his physicality and second showing off some nice footwork along the sidelines.
• Patriots stats leaders at this point: Jones: 12-for-16, 203 yards; Stevenson: 6 carries, 46 yards; Harris: 8 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD; Parker: 4 catches, 6 targets, 132 yards
DeVante Parker's 25-yd reception from Mac Jones had a completion probability of 7.4%, the most improbable completion over the last two seasons.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 25, 2022
Parker's shoulders were 0.2 yards out of bounds when the pass arrived.#BALvsNE | #ForeverNE pic.twitter.com/onJSE0nggE
Halftime analysis — 2:32 p.m.
Two quarters are in the books in Foxborough, and the Patriots trail 14-13. Here are a few quick notes:
• Patriots stats leaders: Mac Jones 10-for-13, 142 yards; DeVante Parker 2 catches, 4 targets, 71 yards; Rhamondre Stevenson 6 carries, 46 yards; Jonathan Jones 1 INT; Deatrich Wise 3 sacks, 12 yards
• Ravens stats leaders: Lamar Jackson 10-for-15, 99 yards, two TDs, 1 INT, 4 carries, 41 yards; Mark Andrews 5 catches on 8 targets, 55 yards, 2 TDs
• It was not perfect, but it was a good first half for the Patriots, who played well, and also did well capitalizing on some Baltimore injuries to build an early lead. They bottled up Jackson in the pocket, specifically maintaining good gap discipline on the edge with Matthew Judon and Deatrich Wise, Jr.
• On the other side of the ball, Mac Jones has managed to overcome the lack of Jakobi Meyers by spreading the ball well, specifically finding Parker for a pair of big gains. (Who would have guessed that Mac would have had a rushing touchdown before Lamar Jackson?)
• Jones was inconsistent for large stretches of last week’s game against Pittsburgh, but he’s been much better today through two quarters, delivering some impressive connections with the likes of Parker and Nelson Agholor. Impressive seeing the way he guided the offense after getting the ball back at the end of the first half, a sequence that ended with a 50-yard field goal from Folk.
• I love the defensive look when the angular Wise moves inside. All elbows and knees. Not all the time, but as an occasional unique option. Wise has played well this season, and was a strong defensive presence in the early going, finishing with three sacks. The franchise record for most sacks in a regular-season game is four, set by Andre Carter in 2011.
• The second touchdown catch from Andrews marked the second time in three games the Patriots allowed a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. Not great. As we mentioned, the drop-off from Kyle Dugger is noticeable at the safety spot for New England.
• All in all, there have been occasional defensive breakdowns at bad times — like Uche thinking pass instead of run, which allowed Jackson to leak out of the backfield on the way to picking up a third-down conversion — but for the most part, they’ve done relatively well containing the nimble QB. (He had runs of 17 yards and 11 yards late in the second quarter that provided a spark for the Baltimore offense on the way to the second score of the day for the Ravens.)
• Interesting call going for it on fourth midway through the second quarter, one made all the more interesting with a big leg like Nick Folk on the sidelines. It was the first time this season the Patriots rolled the dice on fourth down this year — we’ll see if not punting or trying the field goal will come back to haunt New England.
• Folk connected on the 35-yard field goal to set an NFL record for consecutive fields goals under 50 yards, and added the 50-yarder right before the half. A typically excellent half from the veteran kicker.
• Myles Bryant was a bit of an adventure on his first punt return attempt, but did well the rest of the way.
• The Patriots will get the ball to start the second half.
Patriots add 3 to close first half — 2:26 p.m.
Ravens 14, Patriots 13 | Halftime
Nick Folk’s second field goal trimmed Baltimore’s lead to 1 as time expired in the first half.
Ravens pull ahead just before halftime — 2:19 p.m.
Ravens 14, Patriots 10 | :30 left, 2nd quarter
Another touchdown pass play between Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews put the Ravens back on top just before halftime.
It is the second time this year the Patriots have allowed an opposing touchdown in the final minute of the first half. As well as the defense has played at times this season, it’s not a recipe for success.
Baltimore holds a 14-10 lead with 30 seconds left in the first half, and the second touchdown of the afternoon for Andrews.
The Ravens really missed J.K. Dobbins, who has made an imprint on this one in the early going with some quality yardage on the ground and in the air. On that last series, he had an 11-yard catch. Baltimore also got a 17-yard pickup on the ground from Jackson, his longest of the afternoon to this point.
Patriots take the lead — 2:06 p.m.
Patriots 10, Ravens 7 | 5:58 left, 2nd quarter
The Patriots are in the midst of some really impressive complementary football, as the interception byJonathan Jones set the offense up with some excellent field position. Mac Jones and the New England offense just turned that into a touchdown, a three-yard scramble from the quarterback to make it 10-7 Patriots with 5:58 left in the first half.
Lamar Jackson only has five more rushing yards than Mac Jones. And Jones is the one with the touchdown. Go figure.
Patriots regain possession on interception — 2:00 p.m.
Jonathan Jones with the interception, which will give the Patriots the ball at the Baltimore 32 with 8:12 left in the first half. A great opportunity for New England to put some points on the boards here.
Patriots denied on fourth down — 1:54 p.m.
The Patriots’ initial fourth-down offensive attempt of the season was no good, and the Ravens will take over at their own 33-yard line with 9:19 left in the first half. It’s 7-3, Baltimore.
The first incomplete pass by Mac Jones might have been a case of defensive pass interference (maybe?) on Marcus Williams.
On the last defensive stand, Deatrich Wise Jr. had his second sack of the afternoon. The Patriots’ regular-season franchise record for most sacks in a game is four, set by Andre Carter in 2011.
I like the decision to go for it on 4th and 3 instead of a 51 yard FG into the wind. Don't like handoff on third down or not throwing to the sticks on fourth down— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 25, 2022
Patriots connect for field goal — 1:41 p.m.
Ravens 7, Patriots 3 | 14:57 left, 2nd quarter
The Patriots drove to the Ravens’ 22 and settled for a field goal attempt.
Nick Folk nailed the 35-yard field goal to make it 7-3 at the start of the second quarter. The FG sets an NFL record of 57 consecutive successful field-goal attempts from inside 50 yards, breaking the mark of 56 set by Tennessee’s Ryan Succop (2014-17).
• The Patriots finally dipped into their play-action bag for a 31-yard reception from Parker. (It was just their sixth play-action play of the year, per the Fox broadcast.) That provided a spark for the New England offense to keep things moving.
• Fourth penalty of the season on Wynn on that drive. That is not sustainable.
End of first quarter — 1:37 p.m.
The first quarter is done. Baltimore is up 7-0.
Patriots leaders: Mac Jones: 4-4, 81 yards, Rhamondre Stevenson: 3 carries, 22 yards, DeVante Parker: 2 catches, 2 targets, 71 yards
Ravens score first — 1:25 p.m.
Ravens 7, Patriots 0 | 4:09 left, 1st quarter
The Ravens scored first on a shovel pass from Lamar Jackson to Mark Andrews.
• Patriots linebacker Josh Uche had a chance to nail Jackson on a third-and-5, but he looked to be more concerned with batting down a pass attempt instead of finishing off the rush. It cost New England, as Jackson figured out an escape plan and reached the sticks for a first down. The margin for error when it comes to defending a talent like Jackson is so slim.
• Feels like — at least on that last drive — the Ravens are fully cognizant of the drop-off at safety New England is dealing with when it comes to the loss of Dugger. Andrews is a great talent (he had back-to-back catches for 11 and 17 yards on that drive, and four catches total on that sequence, including the touchdown), but no Dugger means that’s really a winnable matchup for Baltimore.
• Great job by Deatrich Wise on the sack. OK job on the edges so far from New England. That’s going to be a point of emphasis all afternoon for the Patriots.
Patriots’ first drive fizzles — 1:14 p.m.
The 31-yard reception from Parker on the Patriots’ first play was a good sign. If they can get him cranked up, it’ll bring a different dynamic to the New England passing game.
Offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn picked up his third penalty of the season on the Patriots’ first drive. He leads the offensive line through two-plus games — that’s not a good pace for anyone, much less a starting offensive tackle.
Patrick Queen had a free route to Jones on third down and sacked him. Baltimore will take over on its own 31 with 10:32 left in the first quarter of a scoreless game.
Same issue for the Patriots to start today -- pick up some yards but stall at midfield. Pats have gotten inside the 30 on just 5 of 20 drives this year— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 25, 2022
It’s game on, and Patriots look good so far — 1:07 p.m.
The Patriots won the coin toss and elected to defer, then held the Ravens to a three-and-out on their first possession. Daniel Ekuale had a nice batted ball in his first start to deny Baltimore on third down and force a punt.
Myles Bryant had another dicey moment on the opening punt return, allowing the ball to hoit the ground before diving on it. Not good.
DeVante Parker had his biggest catch of the season, a 31-yarder, to get the New England offense jump-started early.
Bill Belichick’s pregame comments — 12:39 p.m.
Here are a few quotes from Bill Belichick’s pregame interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub:
• On losing defebsive back Kyle Dugger: “We’ll need all we can get on defense to handle [Ravens QB Lamar] Jackson and that crew. … [Jabril] Peppers did a nice job for us last week when Kyle went out at halftime against the Steelers. He had a good week … I’m sure he’ll be ready to go.”
• On quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense: “He’s very dangerous with the ball in his hands. We’re going to have to play good team defense to handle him. … They have very explosive receivers. You have to defend the whole field against these guys.”
• On Ravens kicker Justin Tucker: “I think he shortens the field between five and 10 yards against every team in the league … Anything inside the 40 is in his range. … He not only has a good strong leg but he’s very accurate.”
Chris Price’s prediction — 12:50 p.m.
So much of this game is going to come down to if New England can keep Lamar Jackson in the pocket, which means that edge defenders like Matthew Judon and Deatrich Wise, Jr. are going to have to stay disciplined in their respective rush lanes and not get upfield past Jackson. If they can do that on defense, New England has a chance to win.
The Patriots will also have to slow the game down like last week, command the tempo, and lean heavily on the short passing game and ground attack to move the ball consistently. A little special teams magic (like last week’s fumbled punt return from Pittsburgh) wouldn’t hurt.
If New England can check off those three boxes, it can win today against Baltimore. I’ll say Patriots 20, Baltimore 17.
Justin Tucker watch — 12:30 p.m.
The Ravens have one of the NFL’s best kickers in Justin Tucker, who is in his 11th NFL season and holds the league record for longest field goal at 66 yards – set just shy of one year ago on Sept. 26, 2021.
Here’s a look at his pregame warmups, courtesy of the Globe’s Jim McBride and Ben Volin.
My favorite Patriots-Ravens games — 12:20 p.m.
Patriots-Ravens remains one of the most underrated rivalries in the NFL. Here are my five favorite games between the two teams:
5. Nov. 3, 2019: Ravens 37, Patriots 20. Baltimore and Lamar Jackson deal 8-0 New England its’ first loss of the season.
4. Oct. 4, 2009: Patriots 27, Ravens 21. An underrated contest.
3. Sept. 23, 2012: Ravens 31, Patriots 30. New England is up by nine with five minutes left, but a furious rally — and a questionable DPI on Devin McCourty — sets up Baltimore for the comeback win. Justin Tucker kicks it directly over the goal post to punctuate the comeback for the Ravens.
2. Jan. 22, 2012: Patriots 23, Ravens 20, in the AFC title game in Foxborough. Billy Cundiff misses at the end of regulation.
1. Jan. 10, 2015: Patriots 35, Ravens 31, in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. New England fell behind by 10 twice only to come back and win.
Betting lines on the Patriots-Ravens game — 12:15 p.m.
The line for this week’s Patriots-Ravens game opened with Baltimore as a three-point favorite, and it’s pretty much stayed there, with some outlets pushing it to 2.5 later in the week. The over/under is at 43.5 (which still strikes me as high, regardless of the early points the Ravens were able to post last week against the Dolphins).
One player prop that’s stood out to me comes from DraftKings, which has Damien Harris O/U rushing yards at 46.5. Baltimore has a tough run defense, but I like the over there.
Some season-long updated Patriots-related odds, from Bet Online:
– Since the start of the month, MVP odds for Mac Jones have gone from 50-1 to 66-1 to 75-1.
– Matthew Judon is 75-1 to win defensive player of the year.
– Bill Belichick’s odds to win coach of the year have gone from 28-1 to 100-1 to 66-1
Will weather be a factor at Gillette? — 12:08 p.m.
There could be a mix, weather-wise, today in Foxborough. Our friends at weather.com say it’ll be mostly cloudy this afternoon, with a 15 percent chance of showers from 1-3, with that increasing to 44 percent around 4 p.m. Highs are expected to be in the upper 60s, but there’s a chance this could be New England’s first weather game of the season, at least by the time the second half rolls around.
Of course, that was the case the last time these two teams played in Foxborough. We’ll see how they handle it if it does start to rain.
A closer look at today’s referee — 11:53 a.m.
Bill Vinovich is the referee for today’s game. This will mark his first Patriots game of the season, and his fifth New England game since the start of the 2019 season. He’s a familiar face for Patriots fans, as he’s worked many big contests involving New England, including Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seahawks.
In addition, he worked two of the most high-profile Patriots’ contests of the 2021 season; the December win over the Bills in Buffalo, and the loss to Tom Brady and the Bucs at Gillette in October.
Survey says ... — 11:45 a.m.
Cast your vote:
Inactives — 11:33 a.m.
Patriots: WR Jakobi Meyers, FS Kyle Dugger, DT Sam Roberts, LB Raekwon McMillan, QB Bailey Zappe, CB Shaun Wade
Ravens: WR James Proche III, RB Kenyan Drake, CB Daryl Worley, OT Ronnie Stanley, DE Brent Urban
Patriots inactives analysis:
Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers: A left knee issue that saw him miss practice on Wednesday and Thursday (and limited him on Friday) means he’s on the shelf for this one against the Ravens. While there’s not a lot of positional redundancy there, it’s reasonable to assume this could open the door for Kendrick Bourne to get more reps today.
Safety Kyle Dugger: A big loss for the New England secondary. The hard-hitting safety sustained a knee injury last week, and missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. While he might not see a ton of time, this gives youngster Joshuah Bledsoe an opportunity at the back end of the safety depth chart — he’ll be active for the first time in his NFL career this afternoon.
Defensive tackle Sam Roberts: Another healthy scratch for the youngster — his third straight inactive to start the season.
Linebacker Raekwon McMillan: A thumb injury left him as a DNP for Friday’s practice; between that and the ascension of Harvey Langi from the practice squad on Saturday, the move is not wholly unexpected. Langi could be in line for extended work today against Baltimore.
Cornerback Shaun Wade: A healthy scratch, the former Raven won’t get a chance to face his old team this afternoon. This may say more about the health of Jalen Mills (who was on the injury report with a hamstring but is good to go) than serve as an overall statement on Wade and his spot on the depth chart.
Quarterback Bailey Zappe: Third consecutive healthy scratch for the rookie quarterback. Given the state of the New England depth chart, I’d expect a lot more between now and the end of the year.
Among the notables who are good to go today include youngsters Joshuah Bledsoe (safety) and Chasen Hines (offensive line), both of whom will be active for the first time in their NFL careers. In addition, rookie defensive back and returner Marcus Jones is active today after taking an inactive last week. Bottom line? It could shape up as a good day for the 2022 rookie class to prove its worth.
Patriots offense vs Ravens:— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 25, 2022
QB: Mac, Hoyer
RB: Harris, Stevenson, Pierre Strong
TE: Henry, Smith
WR: Agholor, Parker, Bourne, Humphrey
LT: Brown, Cajuste
LG: Strange, Ferentz
RG: Onwenu, Hines
With Meyers out, will the Patriots finally get Bourne going?
Report: Patriots’ Meyers won’t play — 11:10 a.m.
Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers is not expected to play today against the Ravens, according to multiple reports. Meyers, who has been dealing with a left knee injury, has been Mac Jones’ favored target through the first two games of the 2022 season with 19 targets.
While Meyers’ versatility allows him to play multiple spots for New England, his absence could pave the way for more opportunity for Kendrick Bourne. Bourne has seen limited action the first two weeks of the season, posting three catches for 57 yards.
By the numbers — 11:05 a.m.
A few numbers to look for this week:
• Since 2002, the Patriots have had one of the best opening day marks in the league, winning 17 of their 20 home openers at Gillette since the venue opened. If they beat Baltimore on Sunday, New England would move to 18-3 in home openers in that stretch, tying Denver and Seattle (both at 18-3) for the best mark.
• With one more sack, Matthew Judon will hit the 50-sack mark for his career. If he reaches the milestone, he’ll be the ninth active linebacker to reach the mark. In addition, if he can get to Lamar Jackson for a sack this week, he’d become just the second player in franchise history to start a season with at least one sack in each of his first three games. (Andre Tippett did it in 1986.)
• With one more field goal inside 50 yards, Nick Folk would set an NFL record of 57 consecutive successful field-goal attempts from inside 50 yards, breaking the mark set by Tennessee’s Ryan Succop (2014-17).
• If Nelson Agholor hits the 100-yard mark for receiving yards, it’ll mark the first back-to-back 100-yard receiving games of his career.
• Quarterback Mac Jones needs 11 passing yards to move past Hugh Millen and into seventh place all-time on the Patriots’ passing list.
• Defensive back Devin McCourty is tied with Marcus Peters of Baltimore for the most interceptions among active players with 31. In addition, McCourty is ninth in team history in regular-season games played (190), and will move into a tie for eighth place with Raymond Clayborn (191) this week against Baltimore.
Pregame reading list — 11:00 a.m.
Best way to get started today? Your pregame reading list:
Christopher Price can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.