The formula for the Ravens to upset the Patriots is simple. They need to hold on to the ball and dominate time of possession. They need to make fewer mistakes than New England. And they need Lamar Jackson to be special.

By those measures, the Ravens’ opening drive could not have been more successful. 

The Ravens held the ball for nearly seven minutes, driving the ball down the field with a mix of splash plays and key third down conversions.

The drive eventually stalled out at the Patriots’ six-yard line, but New England was called for neutral zone infraction, giving the Ravens a new set of downs.

On play No. 11 of the drive, Lamar Jackson did what Lamar Jackson does best.

Jackson held the ball on the keeper and waltzed in with plenty of room to spare.

This is the first opening drive in which the Patriots have allowed any score at all in 10 games. The longest active streak in the NFL now belongs to the Ravens defense, which moved to 12 straight games with a quick three-and-out against Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense.

The Ravens want to show they can hang with the NFL’s best, including the undefeated Patriots, and they started off as well as they possibly could have hoped for thanks to the talent of Lamar Jackson.


This was quite a statement in what the Ravens hope will end up being a statement game.