With 2019 first-round pick N'Keal Harry also set to make his debut, the one thing the Patriots can take out of their 37-20 beatdown suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens is an offense that may have found its identity thanks to the addition of Mohamed Sanu. On Sunday night we saw why.
The AFC North-leading Ravens are reaping the benefits of transforming their offense to maximize Jackson's rare talents, with the second-year passer recording three 100-plus-yard rushing games in eight contests this season. He has improved in every major passing category from Year 1 to Year 2.
Running backs Joe Mixon (10 yards on 8 rushing attempts) and Giovani Bernard (4 yards on four attempts) failed to generate any momentum or rush for a single first down. He's doubled his touchdown throw total from a year ago and improved his TD% rate from 3.5 to 5.0. His accuracy, the part of his game that detractors harped on the most, increased from 58.2% to a respectable 64.3%. This time, the Pats send linebacker Elandon Roberts on a run blitz, and he attacks the running back, but Jackson is reading defensive tackle Lawrence Guy.
Despite the fact that he's on pace to run 51 more times than he did last season, he's taking far fewer hits. They had to deal with that past year with [quarterback] Lamar [Jackson] when they came in here. Not necessarily. But it does mean they still have hope of proving they're one of the best. And, when considering only teams in the National Football Conference, there are not many that have been better.
Belichick always preaches having a versatile front that can morph week-to-week based on the game plan, so we'll see if this group can give the coaching staff the option to go that direction.
And he's winning games.
The NFL is a copycat league, yet there isn't a team in the NFL that can mimic this offense.
Finley brings the unknown, but Ravens inside linebacker Josh Bynes said the unfamiliarity won't drastically change the defense's approach. But the defense did force Cincy's veteran QB into several bad throws - including one interception - and limited his ability to chuck the ball deep.
Speaking in front of his new locker before practice November 6, Thomas called it an "amazing" opportunity to join the Ravens after being let go earlier this year by the Kansas City Chiefs. Although better than some team's starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater was excellent as the Saints' No. 1.
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