That was my initial reaction after the ravens scored their last TD and their victory was assured. It's taken me a few hours to actually figure how HOW a 37-20 loss can be considered "good". What keeps coming back to me was when I watched Bill's rather surprising reaction to the time the Pats were blown out a LOT worse by KC in KC in the "Do your Job" documentary. If you recall he said, "When we came out of the half, what I most wanted to see was how we responded as a team. It wasn't about winning at that point, it was about competing hard and playing for each other. I felt that if we could do that, I could work with that and build off it. So while the 2nd half was even worse than the first on the scoreboard, I liked the compete level I saw. Everyone was playing hard for each other. " (paraphrased) So while the rest of the football world saw that loss as the end of the Pat's dynasty, Bill saw what he needed to see from the effort he saw, rather than the results. That was in 2014, and 4 superbowls and 3 wins later. So when the Pats fell behind 17-0 with the offense running about 5 plays and the defense getting demolished for 3 long drives, I couldn't help think back to that clip and start to look at the effort more than the outcomes. The very fact that the Pats got back into the game and had their chances to win going into the 4th quarter, speaks for itself. The defense sucked it up and started to stop the Raven offense with some regularity. The offense after the first quarter actually looked the best it has been, imo. Balls were getting throw down field to open receiver. Pass protection actually improved as the game went on. RB's actually averaged 4.3 ypc. Things got better on the offense I really think this team needed a kick in the pants, and this was a good one. TONS of "teaching points" for them to work on over the next 2 weeks. TONS! The most disappointing things were the lack of execution/discipline. How many time did the Pats give the Ravens big first downs because of penalties. How many times did the offense have drives killed because of penalties. For a while it seemed we were looking like the f*cking Browns out there. Not really, but those penalties were just so frustrating. But more on that later. The thing is that we deserved to lose last night. The Ravens, for a lot of reasons, were the better team. (home game, 2 weeks to prepare, facing a new and unique offense for the first time) But make NO mistake about it. When and if there is a rematch of this game in January. BELIEVE me, I will be betting the HOUSE on a Patriot win. Lets talk about why in the breakdown. 1 General offensive thoughts - The key one is that for the 3rd week in a row I saw the offensive operation improve, even though too often they were their own worst enemy with untimely penalties, drops, and the one fumble. We KNEW early on that this would be the case with all the loses, changes and disruptions along the OL, WR. and TE. So while the Ravens defensive plan was OUTSTANDING in the first quarter and most of the first half. It seemed to me that the offense was moving much more smoothly in the 2nd half, even though it didn't show up much on the scoreboard. 2. QB - Overall, I thought this was Brady's best game of the year. He threw a LOT of good passes, but I was most impressed with his movement in the pocket. This was the most "agile" he's looked in the pocket in my opinion. If I had a complaint was the ball didn't go downfield as much as I liked. James White was the only guy who averaged more than 10 ypc and he only had 2 catches on 3 targets. Also a negative was the pick. I thought Brady threw it to the right guy, but Brady needed to throw it underneath the coverage, rather than overthrowing it. Nitpicking maybe, but that how I saw it. 3. OL - Horrible at the start of the game, but much better as the game went on. Part of the problem was the Ravens game plan. They had a good one and were pretty much on what the Pats wanted to do. Newhouse will be the easy target of course, but while he looked fooled a lot in the first half, he looked much more solid as the game wore on. But CLEARLY life along the OL will be better when Wynn returns after the Eagle game. But is it just me, or did you think that overall Brady had more time to throw the ball than in recent games. 4. RB - Sony ran for over 4 ypc, and had a nice catch and run, but after a route that Brady didn't seem to like, he never saw the field the rest of the night. That bears watching. It turns out that James white tripping over Cannon's leg cost the Pats a key TD early in the 2nd half. It was a well conceived play that SHOULD have been successful. Burkhead got some run and looked OK 5. WR/TE''s - Sanu looks like he's fitting in well. The only negative I saw was the drop on the deep seam pass. That WOULD have been a big play if executed. Edelman was a GREAT game given that he was being doubled all night. But like Sanu he made ONE error and it was very costly. Watson had 4 catches and a nice Play Action seam pass, and he also did a pretty good job pass blocking when it looked like Baltimore was going to blitz. 6. General defensive thoughts - I hated the start ,was liking the middle, and not impressed by how they played at the end. Back in 2001, one of the key factors in the Pats superb0wl win over the Rams, was the fact they they had played them in their 10th game (a loss). What they gained was an understanding of the speed of the "greatest show on turf", and how to contain it. Same goes here. If or when the these two teams meet again, the Pats will not only have a better "feel" for Jackson's speed, but also for the unique offense they run. They also have 2 weeks to rekindle that hunger and get back their swagger. The boogeymen have been humbled. At this point in the season, that's not a bad thing. 7. Front Seven - Not their best game. But that goes without saying. They just had too many plays where CLEARLY assignments were not being adhered to and chunk plays resulted. But as the game rolled on it DID get better, but after they seemed to get things back under control in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, they couldn't get off the field on third down in the 4th and the Ravens just ate up clock because of it. They'd play pretty good defense on the first 2 downs, and allow first down. A lot of this falls on the LB's who often had TE's they couldn't cover on short routes. KVN was credited with 6 tackles and Collins with 4, but for the most part, the most impactful front 7 players the Pats had for the first 8 games, were practically invisible last night, at least to my eyes. I saw at least one play where Hightower took the wrong gap and opened up a big hole for a long run. 8. Secondary - I was kind of surprised to see that Jackson only threw for 163 yds last night. It seemed like a lot more. So while I'm not sure if the secondary hit all their option assignments correctly, as a pass defense they did fine. There was rarely any Raven running open, and most of the catches they DID make where heavily contested. So THEY were consistent in their play. 9. Raven's thoughts - a. I was really impressed by Jackson. He it seemed like he made a TON of very tough completions on 3rd down, usually under pressure and into very tight windows. He's legit no doubt. However for those who would NOW like to opine that we should have taken him at 31 in 2018, that would have been a mistake for 2 reasons (at least). 1. you would have had to build an entirely new offense around his skill set, just like the Ravens did, and the Pats would have never done. Secondly, even if they HAD drafted him, he'd have never seen the field. Brady is STILL heads and shoulders ahead of him as a QB who can lead you to a Superbowl That being said, after a 2 or 3 year apprenticeship in the Pats system, I would have LOVED to see what would have emerged. I think it would have been SOMETHING great. But it wouldn't have helped us win a superbowl in 2018. b. I hate the Ravens. I really hope we get them in the playoffs. It would be a serene pleasure to crush them and their fans once again. c. This is a really nice offensive system that is going to win the Ravens the AFCN. And it COULD carry them all the way to the AFCCG. But here's the thing. While the system is unique and new, defenses catch up to great offenses. Remember when Sean McVay's offense looked unstoppable. Well BB found a way to stop it and so have several other teams this season after a lot of study this off season. So while many will look with wonder on "the next cool thing", this too will have a due date, and I think it will be sooner rather than later. 10- ST's - I thought the overall ST's were superb. KO coverage consistently stopped the Ravens inside the 25. They got a key TO (Kudos to the new guy). They punted well - Though we didn't see any of those field changing boomers we've come to expect from Bailey. PC was also excellent. Not that any of the kicks were challenging, but it seemed like all of Folk's kicks came off his foot well. They were high and more importantly straight. So far so good. Just a note: I found it interesting on the fumble recover by Bethel, the next closest Pats player to the ball was Cardona. That's really moving for long snapper. 11. NFL notes: a. Ironically the Packers are going to have as many question to answer this week as the Pats, as they fell just as badly to a much WORSE team in LA. b. I missed the deadline to get my picks in so the computer picked for me. I probably was lucky that happened since 4 of the picks I was ready to enter, lost. So the good news is I ended up 2-2. The bad news is they gave me the Giants as my fifth pick. . I need a miracle. c. How great is it that Miami beat the Jets, and how PATHETIC it makes the Jets look. Good for Brian Flores. I think he's dealing well with this adversity. His team is playing hard. Shows he's building a strong culture there. I really liked him here. d. Why is it that Detroit, Tenn, and TB will ALWAYS disappoint you. Houston was one of those teams, but not as much this year. e. I didn't see the game, but the fact that the Browns lost to the Broncos with a QB who had never taken an NFL snap was horrifying. They might have one of the most talented rosters in the league, and they are wasting it. At this point just who CAN they beat. The only question now is going to be whether they fire Kitchens now, or at the end of the year. f. Nice to see Hoyer do a very nice job coming off the bench on the rode and almost guiding the Colts to a tough win, only to lose on a missed FG. g. Interesting note - THREE QB's named Allen all won Sunday. And good night. Any grammar mistakes or misspelling will be corrected by my editor....whenever Ian gets around to assign one to me.