The New England Patriots’ defense made their stand when it mattered most.
The Patriots, who allowed the visiting Baltimore Ravens to amass 357 yards of total offense and scoring drives of 13, 11 and 11 plays, put together a strong fourth quarter, which ultimately helped New England claim a rather surprising 23-17 victory.
New England benefitted from the downpours at Gillette Stadium, but most notably held the Ravens to three consecutive fourth-quarter drives which covered three plays (eight yards), six plays (13 yards) and four plays (four yards).
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson explained what changed down the stretch after Baltimore had success moving the ball down field earlier. The Ravens put together drives covering 94, 69 and 75 yards.
?Defense was just playing off. Defense just played off, they played great defense,” Jackson told reporters postgame. “At times we wanted to take shots — (against) Cover 3, zone — we just couldn?t do nothing about it. Hopefully we can connect next time.”
The Patriots held the league’s highest-ranked rushing offense to 115 yards on 28 carries (4.1 yards-per-rush). All three were below Baltimore’s averages including stark contrasts to the Ravens’ 170 yard-per-game average and 5.1 yard-per-rush average.
Baltimore did have a bit more success throwing the ball, though. Jackson finished with 249 yards passing on 34 attempts with two touchdowns to receiver Willie Snead IV (five receptions, 64 yards).
“They really didn’t change anything. They played good defense,” Snead told reporters. “They were sticking to what they were doing. They were effective in some drives and we were able to take advantage of some things on different drives. … They were playing zone, switching to man, and sprinkling in some zero, so it was everything we thought they were going to do.”
New England did benefit from winning the turnover battled 1-0 as J.C. Jackson intercepted a pass just before the first half ended.
The Patriots moved to 4-5 with the win while the Ravens fell to 6-3.