Here’s what The Baltimore Sun staff had to say immediately after the Ravens' 23-17 road loss against the New England Patriots on Sunday night:
C.J. Doon, editor: Nearly everything that could have gone wrong did Sunday night. Three players — defensive tackle Brandon Williams, tight end Nick Boyle and cornerback Terrell Bonds — left the game with injuries, with Boyle and Bonds possibly lost for an extended period of time. In miserable conditions, the offense struggled to move the ball, and the defense couldn’t stop the Patriots' rushing attack. With the undefeated Steelers atop the AFC, the Ravens, at 6-3, are suddenly left to compete for a wild-card spot.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: For much of Sunday night’s matchup, the Patriots looked like the Ravens, running the ball at will against an undermanned defensive front. The Ravens were dealt a two-fold blow in a nationally televised game. The loss made catching up to the Steelers (9-0) in the AFC North even more of a difficult task and lumped the Ravens with a handful of teams vying for a wild-card berth. Add that to the list of key injuries the Ravens continued to suffer and this very much feels like a team whose season is starting to hang in the balance.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks about the Patriots' trickery and the unsuccessful wildcat play.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: Even if the Ravens had prevailed Sunday night, as many rightly expected them to, this would’ve been a game of dire consequences. The Ravens targeted their run defense in their offseason rebuild, and now they could be without Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell versus Derrick Henry in Week 11. When their offense has produced — and it didn’t really Sunday night, not as it should have — tight end Nick Boyle has been a crucially important chess piece. Now the Ravens have to deal with the pain of several injuries and the blame that comes with a prime-time loss.
Childs Walker, reporter: This was a grim loss, not just for the immediate hit to the Ravens' momentum but for the damage wrought to their big-picture ambitions. Lacking the weapons to challenge the Ravens downfield, the Patriots had to take a straightforward approach on offense, which turned out to be perfect with Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams sidelined by injuries. New England minimized risks and trusted its offensive line to control the game. By the time the Ravens pushed back, the Patriots were up 23-10. On offense, the Ravens picked up where they left off in their victory over the Colts with a pair of impressive first-half scoring drives. But they gradually squandered their momentum with sloppiness — an interception thrown by Lamar Jackson before halftime, a series of terrible snaps by center Matt Skura, an ill-conceived direct snap to Mark Ingram II on a crucial fourth-down attempt. Beyond these immediate mishaps, they’re approaching a point of no return with injuries after Williams left with a bad ankle and tight end Nick Boyle took a scary shot to his knee. Resilience is great, but at some point, they’re just not the team they were designed to be.