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It was Cam Newton versus Lamar Jackson for the first time ever on Sunday night, and the weather stole the spotlight early on. The rain lasted throughout the game in Foxborough, eventually becoming a metaphor for the Ravens night.
Newton and Jackson are two of only nine players ever to win both the Heisman Trophy and NFL MVP, and Sunday night they faced off in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Baltimore went off as 6.5-point favorites, the fourth-highest chalk on the weekend card. Both the Steelers and Saints were able to cover their large spreads, but the Ravens and Packers (the biggest favorite of the weekend) were not. Green Bay did fend off Jacksonville, meaning the Ravens were the only team laying at least six points to lose outright on Sunday.
The Patriot Way
Newton only passed for 118 yards in the pouring rain, but as a team, the Patriots rushed for 173 yards, led by rookie Damien Harris who went for 121 on 22 carries. The Pats finally scored through the air, snapping a four-game streak without a touchdown pass, though one of them came from wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. To be fair, Meyers is a former quarterback who was recruited to play the position at NC State but transitioned to wideout following his freshman year.
New England has now won two games in a row for the first time this season, both in front of national audiences, as they were featured on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, followed by NBC’s Sunday Night Football. The two wins came off the heels of a four-game losing streak, their worst such slide in 18 years. The Pats remain in the thick of the playoff chase, sitting just two games back of the final wild-card spot as they now get set to travel to Houston to take on the Texans in Week 11.
Baltimore is now 6-3, having dropped two out of their last three after starting the year 5-1. Once considered one of the favorites in the AFC, the Ravens have slipped to the 7-seed, owning the tiebreaker over Tennessee based on best win percentage in common games. The division tie break was initially used to eliminate Cleveland since Baltimore wins tie break over Cleveland based on head-to-head win percentage.
Jackson had difficulty connecting with receivers inside Gillette Stadium Sunday night, and the ground game was largely held in check with New England leading for the entire second half. Jackson led the team in rushing with just 55 yards as Gus Edwards, JK Dobbins, and Mark Ingram combined for 60 yards. Marquise Brown disappeared again, getting targeted six times but only hauling in two catches for 14 yards.
Mark Andrews did have seven receptions for 61 yards, and he’ll have to step up even more as Nick Boyle will be lost for the season after a gruesome knee injury. The broadcast only showed one replay of Boyle getting hit and told the viewers it would be from a distance.
The Ravens are now three full games behind the undefeated Steelers, who already beat them in the first meeting. Baltimore faces a tough two-game stretch coming up against Tennessee and then Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving, but they’ll be fortunate that both are at home.