It's an unusual Monday for Patriots fans. Usually we are celebrating with a victory on Mondays. Today, that is simply not the case. The Patriots played their worst game of the season, losing on the road to the Baltimore Ravens 37-20. There were a lot of negatives in this game that I can harp on for long periods of time. There were also a few positives to take out of the defeat. Let's look into three ups and three downs from the Pats-Ravens game.
Up: Mohamed Sanu
It was going to be interesting to see how Mohamed Sanu would perform with a full week of practice under his belt. Well, the results were pretty good in this less than stellar overall team performance. Sanu finished with 10 catches for 81 yards, and the first Patriots touchdown. It looked as though Brady was more comfortable going to Sanu early and often. This is a good sign for the rest of the season, as Brady and Sanu's chemistry continues to grow. Mark my words, Mohamed Sanu will help the Patriots in a big moment later on this season.
Down: Julian Edelman
10 catches for 89 yards is usually pretty good for Julian Edelman. But in this case, it's his rare mistake that cost the Patriots a chance at a comeback. The Patriots were driving down the field to begin the second half when Edelman fumbled at the Baltimore 30. The Baltimore defense scooped the ball up and went 70 yards the other way in a 14 point swing. A rare Edelman mistake ended up costing the Patriots any momentum they had going to start the second half.
Up: Justin Bethel
It was a return to Baltimore for new Patriots special teams player Justin Bethel. He has above average speed and can make plays when needed. He showed off his speed and awareness last night when he recovered a Cyrus Jones fumble to give the Patriots excellent field possession.
This helped the Patriots score and get back into the game in the first half. I'm thinking this isn't the last play Bethel makes this season.
Down: Marshall Newhouse
The Patriots need Isaiah Wynn back immediately. Why? Well, because Marshall Newhouse isn't cutting it for me. He isn't giving Brady any protection on his blind side. It seems like Newhouse gets beat on a lot of plays. Bottom line, get Wynn back and send Newhouse elsewhere. You need a good offensive line at every position, plain and simple.
Up: James White
Another good game here for James White. He continues to be a big part of the Patriots offense. He had a big catch in the first half to get the Patriots inside of the Baltimore five yard line. I can't say this enough, James White is extremely underrated. With his solid hands in the receiving game along with the occasional run, he is somebody that defenses have to plan for carefully. White being dependable catching passes only helps Tom Brady with one more strong target to go to in crucial situations.
Down: Sony Michel
The run game hasn't been up to par so far this season. Last night, that didn't change with Sony Michel. Michel had four rushes for 18 yards total. The Ravens run defense is among the best in the league. So, it's not all that surprising to see Michel not have a very productive game. Overall, Michel hasn't looked like last year. This means he's due for a monster game!
It's one game. It wasn't the playoffs, it wasn't the Super Bowl. It was an early November regular season game. The undefeated talk is now out the window (Thank God!), so now it's time to get back to winning one game at a time. Get ready for Philadelphia in two weeks and get back on track. We're on to Philadelphia!