Not Your Average Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens traveled to Gillette Stadium as heavy favorites (-6.5), but were sent home with both a 23-17 loss and a vague memory of their last matchup against the New England Patriots.
In November of 2019, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens ended the Patriots' 8-0 streak to begin the season with a 37-20 win. That Baltimore victory also marked the fourth game into what would become a 12-game win streak.
But on Sunday night, the shoe was on the other foot, as the loss to New England snapped Baltimore's 31-game regular season streak of scoring at least 20 points, marking the first time the Ravens failed to score 20 points since November of 2018.
Needless to say, it was not the Baltimore squad that the world has become accustomed to seeing since Jackson took over as quarterback in 2018, and furthermore, the 2020 Ravens have not fully resembled the Ravens of 2019.
As of Tuesday morning, Baltimore is 12th in scoring offense (27.1 points per game), after leading the league in points per game in 2019 (33.2 points). This season, they've eclipsed 33 points just once.
And while entering Week 11 with a 6-3 record doesn't register as too much cause for concern, Lamar Jackson had only lost three games total as a starter over the past two regular seasons.
It can't be ignored that the weather was not in Jackson and the Ravens' favor on Sunday.
Still, Jackson completed 70.6 percent of his passes for 249 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Patriots, adding 55 yards rushing.
And of course, he had his usual flashes of brilliance.
But the dominance that he displayed last year hasn't seemed to repeat itself this season. While Baltimore was 7-2 after nine games last season – not much different than 6-3 – Lamar already has five interceptions and six fumbles through nine games.
In 2019, he had six interceptions and nine fumbles through 15 games.
His passing yards per game are down from 208.5 to 195.8, his quarterback rating is down from 113.3 to 95.6, and his rushing yards per game are down from 80.4 to 58.2.
While the Ravens still rank second in rushing offense (164.0 yards per game), they are averaging 42 yards fewer per game than in 2019, when they finished the season ranked first in the league (206.0).
Despite Baltimore's offensive regression, Colin Cowherd isn't concerned about its quarterback and his future success in the league.
"I don't worry about Lamar. He's dynamic, he's passionate, he works hard, he's pissed when he loses. He's got a good coach, a great owner, they've got a very good defense, and they draft exceptionally well."
However, the Ravens' injury report is growing, which could increase the pressure on Jackson.
Tight end Nick Boyle went down with a season-ending injury on Sunday, a week after losing offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley for the season.
The Ravens have also seen injuries take down defensive starters Calais Campbell, L.J. Fort and Jimmy Smith, as well as nose tackle Brandon Williams and others.
The Ravens finished with just 115 yards rushing on Sunday, while the Patriots seemed to take a play from Baltimore's book, running all over the depleted defense for 173 yards.
New England's Damien Harris racked up 121 yards, and quarterback Cam Newton scored his ninth rushing touchdown of the year.
After Sunday's loss, ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark said Monday that he doesn't believe the league sees Lamar and the Ravens as the threat they once were.
"The era of invincibility is gone. When you see these teams play against the Baltimore Ravens, I believe there is more confidence walking into the stadium against them."
Things won't get easier for Baltimore, as they will host Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans next Sunday, before traveling to Pittsburgh on short rest to face the Steelers on Thursday in Week 12.
Baltimore is still favored (-6.5) over Tennessee, but a Ravens squad that was once considered a juggernaut will instead have to shift its attention away from winning a Super Bowl – for now – and focus on winning enough games just to get a Wild Card spot.
There was no winner this week in the NFL Challenge on the FOX Bet Super 6 app, so the $1 million prize rolls over to Week 11. Download the app now at foxsuper6.com and make your picks for a chance at the jackpot.