Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: This game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated. Take away the three turnovers -- and two of them were essentially unforced -- and this game is over in the third quarter, if not earlier. The Ravens were flat on offense, and it has to be discouraging to see how easily the Patriots took them out of their game with the zone. The absence of Jimmy Smith was no excuse for the number of big plays the defense allowed. And the special teams set the tone with mistakes. In the grand scheme of things, this loss doesn't change a whole lot. All along, the Ravens were probably going to need to go into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers to make the playoffs. But the performance did cast some significant doubt that the Ravens are capable of winning three games to close out the regular season.
Mark Selig, Ravens editor: It's encouraging to see them fight back when the game seemed decided, but the Ravens made far too many critical errors to pull off a road upset. Obviously a loss hurts their playoff chances, but the most important game of the season remains Christmas Day against the Steelers. The Ravens still control whether they win the division or not; now they might just have to finish 3-0. If Jimmy Smith isn't available to the secondary, that will be difficult to accomplish.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens certainly found a way to make a game of it, but they were so dysfunctional in the first half that even two gift touchdowns could not undo the damage. The good news is that they really can play with anybody, so they'll have another chance to regain first place in the AFC North if they hold serve against the Eagles next week and play a cleaner game in Pittsburgh on Christmas Day. That said, the breakdown on that long Chris Hogan touchdown was unforgiveable and the Ravens have to get more out of their return game than Devin Hester has given them.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens are really up against it now. They probably have to win out to make the playoffs. Some will view this as a resilient performance because the Ravens rallied from 23-3 down to make it a competitive game. But the Patriots essentially handed them two touchdowns with special teams miscues. The reality is that until late in the game, the Ravens' offense reverted to the erratic, mistake-prone attack we saw over the first 11 weeks of the season. And Tom Brady pretty well carved up a secondary that again had to play without an injured Jimmy Smith. Between this game and the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, we've learned the 2016 Ravens aren't quite up to the level of the best teams in the league.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Ravens took advantage of mistakes by the Patriots, but were undone by their own mistakes. How could you leave Chris Hogan that wide open? How many bad decisions will Devin Hester Sr. be allowed to make? How many times do you throw the ball two yards when you need 10 yards? This Ravens team is much improved from the beginning of the season, but not improved enough to make the playoffs. They are still a year — and a good offensive coordinator — away from being a serious contender. Even without his big weapons, Tom Brady put up 30 points against the NFL's No. 1 defense. With the Ravens' offense finally healthy, Joe Flacco could not.