FOXBORO, Mass. — In a game that started slow but turned into a seesaw between two familiar foes, the New England Patriots earned one of their gutsiest wins of the season Sunday, upending the highly touted Baltimore Ravens, 23-17, on a wet and windy night at Gillette Stadium.
Leading by six points with time waning down in the fourth quarter and the rain beating down, New England’s defense took the field holding an opportunity to earn a major win after losing four of their last five contests.
Standing on the other side of the ball was the reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, who had already thrown two touchdowns in the game. However, the New England defense held firm, forcing a late turnover on downs to seal the win for the Pats.
The win moved the Patriots to 4-5 and marked the second straight victory for a New England team that had previously lost four games in a row for the first time since 2002. Baltimore dropped to 6-3 with the loss.
On a cold, rainy night in Foxboro, the Patriots and Ravens began things slow, with neither team registering a point in the first quarter. However, despite the whipping winds and the deluge of rain, both squads began to heat up in the second.
The Ravens opened the scoring on the first play of the second quarter, as Jackson (24-for-34, 249 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) found TE Willie Snead on a six-yard touchdown pass that capped off a 13-play 94-yard drive for the visiting team. However, New England responded with a long scoring drive of their own.
Over the course of the next 3:08, the Patriots drove the ball 75 yards on seven plays, with RB Rex Burkhead catching a seven-yard touchdown pass from QB Cam Newton, evening in the score.
And after the Ravens threatened on their ensuing drive, the New England defense held firm when it mattered most.
Jackson and company had moved to the Patriots' 9-yard-line, where they had 1st-and-goal with 6:32 remaining in the half. Two incompletions and a 3-yard pass later, Baltimore was forced to settle for a field goal.
Ten plays and 75 yards later, New England broke out a trick play to take the lead before halftime. Former high school quarterback turned Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers dusted off his throwing arm and uncorked a 24-yard touchdown pass to Burkhead to put the Patriots up three following a missed extra point.
And when New England received the ball to start the second half, their offense picked up where it left off.
In just four plays that spanned the length of 75 yards, the Patriots marched downfield before Newton (13-for-17, 118 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD) scampered into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown run.
After a field goal on the ensuing New England drive put the Patriots up 13 points, the Ravens returned to form on offense.
Over the course of the next six minutes, Baltimore moved the ball to the New England 18-yard line before Jackson found Snead in the end zone for the tight end’s second touchdown of the game, pulling the Ravens within six points headed into the fourth quarter.
As the rain intensified late in the contest, so too did the formidableness of both defenses. With both offenses having a chance to end the game on their last drives of the night, both defenses dashed those hopes.
Baltimore earned one more drive for their offense by denying Newton and the Patriots on a critical 3rd-and-7, but New England had the final say, closing things out at home with a last stand against John Harbaugh’s Baltimore offense.
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