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Improved Patriots Offense Can't Keep Pace in Loss to Lamar Jackson, Ravens

A sluggish offense showed signs of life, but Jackson's five touchdowns and four New England turnovers doomed it in the 37-26 loss.

DeVante Parker finally arrived. Mac Jones matched Lamar Jackson's rushing touchdowns and threw for 321 yards. The running game amassed 145 yards; the offense a total of 447. Even got the benefit of a couple lucky breaks.

But, in the end Sunday in Foxboro, a New England Patriots' offense that showed so much promise hideously self-destructed. Driving deep into Baltimore Ravens' territory with a chance to take the lead in the final nine minutes, Jones threw the second of his three second-half interceptions in the end zone and the Patriots turned the ball over four times on their last five possessions in a disappointing 37-26 loss at Gillette Stadium.

Adding injury to insult, Jones hopped off the field on one leg and in immense pain after Ravens' defensive lineman Calais Campbell landed awkwardly on his left ankle as he threw the game-ending interception with 1:55 remaining.

He was eventually carried to the locker room by teammates, reportedly to be heard screaming in pain.

X-Rays of Jones' ankle in the locker room, however, were negative, potentially allowing him and the Patriots to dodge a serious, long-term injury. The quarterback will be re-evaluated before addressing the media Monday afternoon in Foxboro.

Jackson, whom the Patriots passed over twice in the 2018 NFL Draft, accounted for five touchdowns - including four passing. Parker had a breakout game for New England, catching five balls for 156 yards.

The Ravens, who blew a 35-14 lead to the Miami Dolphins last week, were in jeopardy of coughing up a 31-20 late lead.

But on their last three possessions, the Patriots threw an interception into the end zone, fumbled (receiver Nelson Agholor) at Baltimore's 40 and then suffered the painful final play when Jones was hit while throwing his third pick, this one to Ravens' cornerback Marcus Peters.

While the offense relatively erupted after starting the season scoring its fewest points since 2001, New England's defense - playing without star safety Kyle Dugger - was shredded by Jackson through the air and on the ground. The Pats, who had allowed only two touchdowns through two games, gave up 394 yards and five scores to Jackson.

It gets no easier for 1-2 New England, which next week travels to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Parker continued his eye-popping performance early in the second half as the Patriots took a 20-14 lead. He made a leaping 36-yard catch along the left sideline and between two Ravens, then produced a pretty toe-tap grab on a 25-yard completion to Baltimore's 2-yard line. After Baltimore's Patrick Queen dropped what would have been a 95-yard Pick Six of a poor decision and throw by Jones, Damien Harris waltzed in for a 2-yard touchdown.

But Baltimore immediately answered, capping a 75-yard drive on Jackson's third touchdown pass to a tight end. His 1-yard toss to Josh Oliver put the Ravens back in front, 21-20.

After a Patriots' drive ended on a sack of Jones, Baltimore was given good field position on a 43-yard punt return by Devin Duvernay. On the first play, Jackson kept up the mid dle for 38 yards. Three plays later Jackson threw his fourth touchdown, this one to Duvernay for a 28-20 lead.

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Jones then set up the Ravens with good field position again with his third interception in three games. He thew late and behind Parker, picked off by linebacker Josh Bynes at New England's 43. The Pats' defense stiffened, but Justin Tucker's 56-yard field goal bumped Baltimore's lead to 31-20.

After absorbing Baltimore's 17-0 run in six minutes, New England regrouped by a gritty, surprisingly athletic Jones to pull back within 31-26.

After scrambling for eight yards on 3rd-and-9, Jones turned a almost-disaster on 4th-and-1 at Baltimore's 17-yard line to an improvisational first down. After the first option of the play dissolved, Jones back-tracked to his left and completed an ad-libbed pass to tight end Jonnu Smith. Stevenson punched it in two plays later to pull the Patriots within 31-26. The two-point conversion run failed, after initially being ruled good as Stevenson was stuffed but appeared to lateral to Jones who dove into the end zone. After replay, however, Stevenson's knee was ruled down.

Because the Patriots couldn't corral the slithery Jackson, Baltimore took a 7-0 late in the first quarter. He eluded Matthew Judon on one play and then Josh Uche on a scramble that kept plays, and the drive, alive before hitting tight end Mark Andrews with a shovel pass for an easy 5-yard touchdown.

New England cut the lead to 7-3 on Nick Folk's 35-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter. The drive was fueled by a 40-yard catch by DeVante Parker, who had two catches for 71 yards in the first 15 minute after producing just one reception for nine yards in the Pats' first two games.

The kick was Folk's 57th consecutive make under 50 yards, setting a new NFL record.

Despite their kicker's legendary streak, New England bypassed a chance at points - via a 50-yard field goal - and went for 4th-and-3 from Baltimore's 33 early in the second quarter. The play never had a chance, as Kendrick Bourne caught a pass near the line of scrimmage and was immediately smothered by two Ravens' defenders.

The Patriots shortly after, however, took their first lead at 10-7 on Jones' 3-yard scramble up the middle. The short field was set up by cornerback Jonathan Jones' interception and return to the Ravens' 32.

The Ravens re-took the lead 14-10 just before halftime after Andrews out-jumped Pats' safety Devin McCourty in the back of the end zone. Jackson's pass was off his back foot and underthrown, but Andrews reached over the Pats' captain for the 16-yard score.

With just 30 seconds remaining, Jones moved his offense behind two strikes to Bourne to set up Folk's 50-yard field goal on the half's final play to pull the Pats within 14-13.


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