FOXBORO — The New England Patriots suffered their second loss of the season to the Baltimore Ravens with a final score of 37-26, and for linebacker Matthew Judon it all came down to one thing. Taking the podium after the defeat, Judon was asked about three straight drives in which New England gave up touchdowns and he pointed toward the lack of execution and giving up explosive plays.
"All three of those drives they had explosive plays," Judon said. "We've got to play better defense and execute better."
New England opened the game in an encouraging fashion, forcing a three-and-out as defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale batted down Lamar Jackson’s third-down pass.
Despite the impressive defensive stand, the offense failed to capitalize or score first. Mac Jones would throw three interceptions and in total, the Patriots turned the football over four times.
In the meantime, Jackson threw four touchdown passes and ran for another while only throwing one interception. The two-time pro bowler ran for 107 yards and was dangerous in space. In fact, there were multiple occasions that it seemed like New England defenders had pressure on Jackson but his explosive and elusiveness overmatched them.
"We all see how shifty he is, dipping and dunking. He's just slippery so when you get there you got to get him down," Judon said. "We just got to be better, especially me, go to get him down when I get there."
Head coach Bill Belichick echoed those sentiments, answering why Jackson was able to go off in the second half.
"I don't think there were any new plays. They ran their C-gap plays," Belichick said. "Lamar did a good job on keeping some of those, not keeping those, the option choices that he made. We lost leverage, and missed a couple of tackles there, so a combination of all those things."
After today's performance, the star quarterback became the first player in the Super Bowl era with three or more passing touchdowns and 100-plus rushing yards in consecutive games.
"They had a couple of explosive plays. Their drives were 70 yards, so it wasn't 70-yard plays," Belichick said. "We had a couple of opportunities to get off the field on third down, but they are a good first and second-down team."
New England's defense was able to put Jackson under pressure for most of the day. As a matter of fact, Jackson was sacked four times, once by Judon and the other three by Deatrich Wise.
"Deatrich has been putting in so much work off the field," Judon said. "Countless hours that nobody's seen and it's just showing up now. He didn't come out here and it just happens in a game. Mac [Jones] is one of the first guys in the building, the last guys in the building, same with D-Wise."
The Patriots, meanwhile, lost quarterback Mac Jones late in the game to a leg injury that appears serious. In typical Belichick fashion, he offered very little insight or updates on the injury.
Judon, however, showed full support for his quarterback.
"Mac is a hell of a quarterback,” he said. “We don't know what happened, we don't know what's going on, we'll see in the coming days, but I'm riding with 10."
The Patriots are on the road for the third time in four games when they visit the Green Bay Packers next Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4:25 pm. ET.
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