Patriots 20, Ravens 14: Halftime thoughts

BALTIMORE – Some thoughts as the Patriots lead 20-14 at halftime at M&T Bank Stadium:

  • Games never come down to one play, but if the Patriots go on to lose this game, everyone will go back to the Patriots’ second-and-6 play at the Baltimore 39-yard line with 7:48 left in the second quarter. Patriots were leading 13-7 and were driving when offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called for a direct snap to Danny Woodhead, who flipped to Julian Edelman and he was tackled for a 13-yard loss. A real head-scratcher of a playcall that ranks up there with the aborted throwback to Tom Brady against the Cardinals.
  • McDaniels has shown that he’ll get too cute and overthink some play calls. He needs to realize he’s not directing the Broncos or Rams anymore, he’s got Brady at quarterback.
  • But the Patriots had a huge answer to close the half when they drove the length of the field and scored on a touchdown pass to Edelman.
  • God-awful tackle attempt by safety Steve Gregory especially, and Devin McCourty on the Dennis Pitta touchdown that gave the Ravens a short-lived 14-13 lead.
  • The Patriots, likely because of the Ravens’ no-huddle offense, have tried to build in some rest for Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love, but the dropoff to Ron Brace and, especially, Marcus Forston has been huge. The Ravens did most of their running when one of those guys was in the game.
  • The offensive line has done a pretty good job. Brady has had to slide in the pocket, but that’s going to happen.
  • Another drop by Wes Welker. Third-straight game to start the season.
  • Patriots decided to really go fast in this game. Their “11” personnel of one running back, one tight end, and three receivers has been the dominant group. It looks like it has worked because the Ravens look gassed on defense at times.
  • The refereeing has been atrocious in this game. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a call from New York telling this crew to get control of this game. There’s been stuff after the whistle on most of the plays.

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