Patriots upset Ravens 23-17 in Foxborough downpour

Cam Newton celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown.
Cam Newton celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown. –Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

On a rainy night in Foxborough, the Ravens were the ones who were all wet.

The Patriots, who came into Sunday’s game as a big underdog, surprised Lamar Jackson and Baltimore, taking a 23-17 win over the Ravens.

In a soaking rain, Cam Newton went 13-for-17 for 118 yards and a touchdown pass, to go along with 24 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. Damien Harris powered the ground game with 22 carries for 121 yards, while Jakobi Meyers added five catches for 59 yards.

Meyers also provided one of the biggest offensive highlights of the season for the Patriots, as the receiver found Rex Burkhead for a 24-yard touchdown pass (after he got the ball from Newton) late in the first half to give New England a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

The Patriots (4-5) won their second straight, while Baltimore (6-3) lost for the second time in three games.

It was a wet and wild affair in Foxborough, as both teams struggled with the conditions. The Patriots did a better job handling things in the early going and took a lead into halftime, sparked by Meyers’ surprising touchdown pass that made it 13-10 with 1:02 remaining in the second quarter — the extra point was off the mark.

New England added to that with 10 third-quarter points — a Newton 4-yard touchdown run and a 20-yard field goal from Nick Folk — to make it 23-10. (The 13-point edge represented the largest lead for the Patriots since the end of their 36-20 Week 3 win over the Raiders.)

The Ravens answered when Jackson found Willie Snead on an 18-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left in the third quarter to cut the lead to six.

However, that’s as close as Baltimore would get, as Jackson and the Ravens’ offense failed to gain any sort of offensive traction in the less-than-ideal conditions the fourth quarter. The Patriots closed things out down the stretch, as Newton helped lead a late drive that killed enough clock to make it impossible for the Ravens to recover.

Here’s how it all happened.

Patriots win – 11:15 p.m.

That should do it. The Patriots will pull off the 23-17 upset.

Ravens struggle with rain – 11:00 p.m.

A bad snap set the Ravens back on that series and they never recovered. They punt the ball back to New England with 4:20 to go in regulation.

Pats have the ball back – 10:46 p.m.

Both teams have had a crack at it, and both offenses have been swamped. The Patriots have the ball after that punt — there’s 11:25 to go in regulation — and hold a 23-17 lead. They will start their drive at their own 4-yard line. New England could use a few first downs to get some offensive rhythm and also help itself if this becomes a battle for field position.

End of the third – 10:35 p.m.

After three quarters, the Patriots hold a 23-17 lead on Baltimore.

Ravens respond – 10:33 p.m.

You can’t fall asleep on this Baltimore team — Jackson and the offense just went 75 yards into a driving rain to make it 23-17 with eight seconds to go in the third quarter. Five runs and six passes, and one fourth-down conversion all added up to a score. Jackson is 20-for-26 for 224 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, to go along with 36 rushing yards.

Big lead – 10:23 p.m.

The 13-point lead for the Patriots is the largest since the end of the Week 3 game against the Raiders when they were up 36-20.

Folk connects – 10:18 p.m.

Not an ideal finish to the drive for the Patriots, but as the conditions get worse, you’ll take as much separation as you can get right now. You know the best analogy I can think of when it comes to the conditions? A late-afternoon baseball game where the shadows creep across the infield and stop for a bit between home plate and the mound, making it hard for hitters? That’s what it’s like now if you are trying to catch up. Anyway, tortured analogies aside, the 20-yard field goal from Nick Folk was good — a spot of redemption for him after that Ricky start — and it’s 23-10 with 6:24 to go in the third quarter.

Pats get the ball back – 10:09 p.m.

Good stop there by the New England defense, even before that fourth-down fumble. Pushing Jackson out of bounds short of the first-down marker is the sort of big-time play that deserves more attention. Nicely done by Jonathan Jones. New England will get the ball back at the Baltimore 37-yard line, leading 20-10.

Jackson impressive – 10:00 p.m.

Patriots go up by 10 – 9:58 p.m.

The Patriots have played two-plus quarters of very impressive football — that sequence was 75 yards on four plays, and pending the extra point, it’s 20-10, with 13:19 left in the third quarter. On that drive, Harris went over 100 rushing yards, while Jakobi Meyers now has three catches for 49 yards. Considering the opponent, this might be their best stretch of football this season.

Halftime takeaways – 9:40 p.m.

•Two quarters are in the books in rainy Foxborough, and the Patriots are up 13-10:

Lamar Jackson: 14-19, 167 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 6 carries, 26 rushing yards

Willie Snead: 3 catches, 36 yards

Cam Newton: 7-9, 61 yards, 1 TD; 12 rushing yards

Damien Harris: 12 carries, 63 yards

Jakobi Meyers: 2 catches, 23 yards, 1 passing TD

Rex Burkhead: 11 rushing yards; 3 catches, 34 yards, 1 TD

Here are a few quick takeaways:

•This game stands in marked contrast to last year’s debacle in Baltimore. The Ravens were in command of that one from pretty much start to finish, and won the game 37-20. (And it wasn’t that close.) This one has a different feel — the Patriots have made this one manageable over the first two quarters, forcing a punt and making some nice defensive plays. Not perfect, but a good stretch of football for New England in messy conditions against a very good football team.

•Love the double pass from Meyers to Burkhead at the end of the first half. Weird stuff happens against the Ravens, and that was the latest example. Meyers, a high school quarterback, delivered a nice one to Burkhead, who could have called for a fair catch in the end zone. I give a lot of credit to McDaniels for calling that for a few reasons — want to empty out the playbook ahead of the really bad weather, and to throw that card down on the table in hopes of providing an offensive spark. Anyway, that could have been one of my favorite offensive plays of the year, given the circumstances.

•Jackson’s talents are obvious, but as far as the rest of the group is concerned, the Ravens’ offense isn’t necessarily overwhelming like the Chiefs That being said, they have a bunch of really smart guys who are capable of executing really well in important moments: third down, red area, staying away from turnovers, etc. They were flagged for a few penalties, to be sure, but all in all, the Baltimore offense does so well in all the important moments. That’s what makes them so good, and that’s we saw from them over the bulk of the first two quarters.

•If you’re the New England defense, you’d like to see more pressure on Jackson, but let’s be honest: trying to contain him is like trying to eat soup with a fork. As long as you can try and keep him in the pocket, that’s a win. The guy is out there pulling off some Bugs Bunny-style getaways on those runs. That pick by J.C. Jackson before the end of the first half was a great contrast to the way the defense played at the end of the first half against the Jets. Great finish to the end of the second quarter for New England.

•Is it reasonable to ask whether or not Sony Michel is in danger of being Wally Pipp’d by Harris? The youngster ran well again, and while you can chalk up some of the production from last week’s game because it was against the Jets, the Ravens are a different story. Harris had 12 carries for 63 yards, and was an important part of the game plan. Not saying anything overly dramatic is going to happen to Michel — only to suggest that it’s not going to be easy at all for the Georgia product to get his starting job back. (And that’s coming from a one-time Michel Truther.)

•Not much to say about special teams, other than everyone except Nick Folk gets a passing grade. Almost had one extra point blocked and the other one was off the mark. Grading on a curve because of the bad weather, but still, in a game with a narrow margin for error, you hope the miss doesn’t come back to haunt you.

•The Patriots deferred to start the game — they will get the ball to start the second half.

Pats show some trickery – 9:30 p.m.

Love that. Meyers to Rex Burkhead for the touchdown. Patriots are up 13-10 — the extra point was off the mark. I give Josh McDaniels a lot of credit for dialing that up.

Pats show some trickery – 9:30 p.m.

Love that. Meyers to Rex Burkhead for the touchdown. Patriots are up 13-10 — the extra point was off the mark. I give Josh McDaniels a lot of credit for dialing that up.

Ravens up 10-7 – 9:15 p.m.

Forcing a field goal there is a win for New England. Point blank. I mean, you don’t want to allow anything, but there were moments during that drive where it looked like Baltimore was going to put another touchdown on the board. But New England stiffened up in the red area, made some nice stops, and held Baltimore to three points. Jackson is 9-for-13 for 123 yards and a touchdown, and his Ravens hold a 10-7 lead with 5:32 to go in the first half. Love to see a New England response here — going into halftime with a 14-10 lead, the game tied at 10, or even just down three would represent an excellent start to the game for the Patriots. (It would also serve as a nice contrast to that miserable stretch at the end of the first half last week against the Jets.)

Pats respond nicely – 9:02 p.m.

Terrific answer on that drive by the Patriots, a series that ended with a 7-yard touchdown throw to Rex Burkhead. Burkhead has had some durability issues over the years, but he’s emerged as an important part of the offense this season. The Patriots went seven plays and 75 yards, taking 3:08 — it’s tied at seven with 11:46 left in the first half. Damien Harris has eight carries for 24 yards, while Newton is 5-for-7 for 53 yards and a touchdown. Burkhead has 21 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown catch.

Ravens on the board – 8:54 p.m.

That was a terrific offensive drive — maybe the best and most complete one I’ve seen all year: 13 plays, 94 yards, 8:04 off the clock. Just really methodical and smart, as the Ravens’ offense took what New England gave them snapping off manageable chunks of yardage throughout that sequence on the way to the end zone. If the Patriots stacked the box, Jackson delivered a nice efficient throw. If it was a lighter box, the Ravens’ ran. Just really well done. Baltimore is up, 7-0, with 14:54 left in the first half.

Ravens rolling – 8:48 p.m.

Defensive game plans are so fragile when faced with a great talent like Lamar Jackson. You start to feel good about things when you get him on third-and-short, but then, he’s able to find some daylight to pick up three yards and the first down. That was enough to really get the Baltimore offense rolling. The Ravens’ drive started at their own six-yard line, but they just powered it down the field with a great mixture of runs and pass plays. The first quarter is done, and while we’re still scoreless, it feels like Baltimore is knocking on the door here on the New England six-yard line. Newton is 2-3 for 7 yards, while Damien Harris has had a nice start with five carries for 21 yards.

Still scoreless – 8:38 p.m.

This drive has gone so much better than last year’s game against the Ravens. (Last year, Baltimore scored on its first drives and had 17 points before it punted.) A large part of winning this game is just about keeping it manageable, at least here in the early going. The Patriots didn’t punch it in for seven, but in a battle for field position, this has been an OK start. (That being said, Michael Onwenu has to be able to hold up better in pass protection.) It’s scoreless with 7:58 left in the first quarter.

For starters – 8:32 p.m.

Patriots’ defensive starters: Guy, Davis, Cowart, Simon, Winovich, Hall, J. McCourty, Jackson, Phillips, D. McCourty, Dugger.

Patriots’ offensive starters: Newton, Harris, Johnson, Meyers, Byrd, Izzo, Wynn, Thuney, Andrews, Mason, Onwenu.

Good start for Patriots – 8:27 p.m.

That’s a nice opening act for the Patriots’ defense — with the exception of the one first down, that was the start New England needed. (Guy coming down with the PBU from Simon would have made it a perfect sequence, really.) That’s followed up by a flag on the Ravens on the punt. Good back-to-back there for the Patriots. It’s scoreless with 13:13 to go in the first quarter.

Time for kickoff – 8:21 p.m.

Patriots win the toss and defer. TIME FOR THE FOOSBALL.

Here comes the rain – 8:15 p.m.

Official Price Prediction – 8:10 p.m.

Been on a roll the last couple of weeks — nailed both predictions. This week, I think the Ravens win, but they don’t cover that 7-point spread. The Patriots will produce a better showing than they did when they faced some of the other elite teams this season, but it’s still not going to be enough. The weather will play a role, but it won’t be enough to level the playing field for New England. I’ll say Ravens 26, Patriots 20.

Murray, Hopkins lift Cards – 7:34 p.m.

Tremendous finish to the Bills-Cardinals game, where Arizona did the Patriots a favor by knocking off Buffalo with an unbelievable connection from Murray to Hopkins for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown with only a few seconds to go.

Pats’ offensive depth chart – 7:15 p.m.

Pats are a 7-point underdog – 7:10 p.m.

In most places, the line opened with the Ravens as 6.5-point favorites, and it’s either stayed that way or gone to seven points for Baltimore. Ultimately, I think the Ravens will win, but I’m not wholly convinced they’ll cover. (I’ll have a pick shortly.) One more betting note from our pals at Odds Shark: the under is 4-1 in the last five Patriots’ games. Tonight, most places I’ve seen have it at 44 points. (This is one of the areas where the anticipated bad weather could play a role.)

Gilmore among inactives for Pats – 7:00 p.m.

The Patriots have announced their inactives for tonight’s game. Here’s the list, and what the decisions mean:

QB Brian Hoyer: The veteran is a healthy scratch once again, paving the way for Jarrett Stidham to serve as Cam Newton’s primary backup.

LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: The 24-year-old out of last week’s game against the Jets with a groin issue, and was limited all week in practice, so the move isn’t completely unexpected. Younger linebackers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings should get more work in his place.

CB Stephon Gilmore: The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is sidelined again, this time by a knee injury — it’s why he popped up on the injury report as questionable on Friday. As was the case when Gilmore was out early in the season, I’d expect more on the shoulders of J.C. Jackson, who has done as well as could be expected when he moves up. (Jonathan Jones will take Jackson’s spot as the primary No. 2 corner.)

RB J.J. Taylor: The undersized back hasn’t played since Week 3 against the Raiders — he was on the injury report last week because of an illness, looked to be good-to-go this week, so we’ll call this one a healthy scratch.

OL Hjalte Froholdt: Another healthy scratch for the youngster\, who wasn’t on the injury list this week, but has been in and out of the lineup this season as a backup offensive lineman.

DT Isaiah Mack: The newcomer appears to be a healthy scratch — figuring he’s still getting up to speed on the defensive side of the ball. (Good news at this spot for the Patriots? The underrated Lawrence Guy, who was out last week and on the injury report this week with three maladies — shoulder, elbow, knee — is active.)

TE Jordan Thomas: Thomas, who was claimed off waivers on Monday, is another new face who might not be completely ready to go within the framework of the New England offense. Ryan Izzo will again get the bulk of the work as the Patriots’ primary tight end.

Interesting weather night? – 6:40 p.m.

It has the potential to be a dicey evening when it comes to the weather forecast. It’s cloudy and cool right now with temps in the low 50s, but according to our pals at weather.com, the temperatures are going to rise throughout the evening. In addition, it’s supposed to get windier and rainier throughout the night, topping out at 11 p.m. (the fourth quarter) where there’s supposed to be heavy wind and rain. We’ll see if it impacts play and/or decision-making throughout the night, but it’s certainly something worth keeping an eye on.

Hello from Foxborough – 6:35 p.m.

Welcome back to football – 6:30 p.m.

The Patriots and Ravens are ready to meet in this week’s Sunday night showdown in Foxborough. It’s a compelling matchup — as is the case whenever New England and Baltimore square off — but this week, there’s a little extra juice. The Patriots are looking to build on last week’s win over the Jets, and continue a push for playoff positioning. The Ravens are aiming to keep pace with the red-hot Steelers in the AFC North race. We’ll have all the latest for you all night long, including our pregame notes from Gillette, the latest betting line, inactive analysis, weather updates, and a lot more. But first, here’s our traditional pregame reading list to get you started.

What Bill Belichick had to say when asked about the Patriots’ lack of recent draft success

Handing out awards for the Patriots at the season’s halfway mark

What NFL experts are predicting for Sunday’s Patriots-Ravens game

Cam Newton wants to nickname Nick Folk after Paul Pierce

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