The Ravens went to New England with their health and a 6-2 record. They left with neither.
In a 23-17 loss to the Patriots on Sunday night, Baltimore was dealt a handful of critical injuries and dropped to 6-3 ahead of its two most important games of the season upcoming.
The Ravens were handled along the defensive line for the first three quarters and the offense made too many mistakes to keep the team in the game. In a driving rain, it was too much to overcome.
Here are some takeaways from a battering loss:
Win or lose on the scoreboard, the night was a loss for the Ravens.
They were already without defensive lineman Calais Campbell (calf), cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle) and L.J. Fort (finger) for Sunday’s game. Then, the injury report read like an essay.
Defensive lineman Brandon Williams hurt his ankle in the first half and was lost for the game. Cornerback Terrell Bonds injured his knee and didn’t return. Tight end Nick Boyle suffered a gruesome leg injury.
That’s in addition to Derek Wolfe, who was shaken up on the same play that Bonds was. And cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who was seen grabbing his shoulder after a play in the second half.
Baltimore lost and that was disappointing, but the injuries are the biggest story moving forward.
Missing Calais and Co.
The Ravens clearly missed their standout defensive lineman Calais Campbell on Sunday night. Then, Williams injured his ankle in the first half and the Patriots ran at will all night. We're not used to seeing that.
Patriots running back Damien Harries ran wild and totaled 121 yards on 22 carries — a 5.5 yards-per-attempt clip. Quarterback Cam Newton, for all the talk of his rushing ability, wasn’t a big factor on the ground and had just 22 yards on 10 attempts. He threw for 118 yards on 13-of-17 passing with a touchdown.
It was the second-most rushing yards the Ravens allowed all season long.
If Baltimore is not able to get Campbell and Williams back next week against Derrick Henry and the Titans, they could be in some trouble.
Clock is the name of the game — but not enough
For all the guff the Ravens’ offense received throughout the first half of the season, Sunday night was certainly a performance to build on with at least some positives despite the pouring rain and ugly weather conditions.
Jackson made a bad throw at the end of the first half which was intercepted by the Patriots, but otherwise went 24-of-34 for 249 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. In the driving wind and rain, he led the offense well enough to keep them in the game.
Marquise Brown had just two catches for 13 yards, but Jackson found Willie Snead, Mark Andrews and Devin Duvernay with regularity as he moved the offense. It just wasn't quite enough and now the Titans and then the Steelers loom in the coming weeks.