The New England Patriots’ unbeaten streak ended under the weight of their own mistakes and inability to contain Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson on Sunday ripped apart the NFL’s stingiest defense with his arm and legs, accounting for three touchdowns and directing a dominant running game in a 37-20 victory.
Baltimore (6-2) zipped to an early 17-0 lead and let the Patriots (8-1) creep within striking distance, before quelling the comeback with a 70-yard fumble return by Marlon Humphrey and a five-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Nick Boyle early in the fourth quarter.
That made it 30-20 and not even six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady could get New England out of the hole.
Brady, who went 30 of 46 for 285 yards, threw an interception with 12 minutes, 47 seconds left.
Jackson then led a methodical nine-and-a-half-minute drive that ended with his thrust into the end zone from the one, with no small assist from right tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
“I was hoping I was in. Orlando pulled me,” Jackson said. “I didn’t even know it was him until I got up. He was like: ‘I pulled you in. I need half of that touchdown.’ It was cool.”
Jackson ran for 61 yards and two touchdowns, going 17 of 23 for 163 yards and a score.
Mark Ingram rushed for 115 yards as the NFL’s leading ground attack amassed 210 yards.
“We played tonight like it was a championship game,” Jackson said after his side’s fourth straight victory. “We’ve just got to keep going.”
New England mixed up their coverages and blitz packages, but the Ravens responded accordingly.
“Nobody does it better than they do and I thought our guys handled it really well, starting with the quarterback,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
The Patriots went in with a defense that had allowed only 7.6 points per game and forced 25 turnovers for a plus-17 differential. The defending Super Bowl champions picked up two fumbles, but they had two turnovers themselves and committed a costly penalty that contributed to Baltimore’s first touchdown.
New England were penalized seven times for 48 yards.
“We didn’t do anything well enough to deserve to win,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “We’ve all just got to do a better job.”
Baltimore’s defense played a role, too.
Patrick Onwuasor stripped the ball from Julian Edelman in the third quarter and Humphrey took it the other way for a score.
Although Brady answered with a touchdown of his own to make it 24-20, the Patriots would not get closer, ending New England’s 13-game winning streak dating to last season.
“We did a lot of things we need to do better,” Belichick said.
Elsewhere, the Seahawks sank the Buccaneers 40-34 in overtime, Chiefs vanquished the Vikings 26-23, the Steelers tamed the Colts 26-24, the Raiders routed the Lions 31-24, the Chargers crushed the Packers 25-11 and the Broncos beat the Browns 24-19.
The Texans thrashed the Jaguars 26-3 at Wembley Stadium in London, the Panthers topped the Titans 30-20, the Dolphins downed the Jets 26-18, the Eagles bested the Bears 22-14 and the Bills routed the Redskins 24-9.
STANDINGS: The Uni-President Lions’ victory pushed the CTBC Brothers to first place after they won their third straight game, beating the Fubon Guardians 6-3 The big bats of the Uni-President Lions were on fire in the CPBL yesterday as they crushed the Rakuten Monkeys 21-5 in Taoyuan, with outfielder Lin An-ko driving in seven runs on five hits and two homers. The result enabled the CTBC Brothers to take the No. 1 spot after they beat the Fubon Guardians 6-3. It was a highlight reel for the Taiwanese-Argentinian star Lin, who drilled two homers amid a heated home-run race between himself, now on 16 for the season, and Lions teammate Su Chih-chieh, who is on 18. Lin performed outstandingly, collecting five hits at six at-bats to drive
GERMAN LEADER: Liverpool’s 19th English title, one behind Manchester United’s record of 20, owes much to the transformational impact of coach Juergen Klopp Liverpool on Thursday ended a 30-year wait for the English title as they were crowned Premier League champions, triggering jubilant scenes as fans ignored social distancing measures to celebrate uproariously. Juergen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title with a record seven games remaining after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of second-placed Manchester City left the defending champions an unbridgeable 23 points adrift. Liverpool’s first English title since 1989-1990 — delayed by the COVID-19 suspension — earns them their maiden trophy in the Premier League, which was introduced in 1992-1993 and has been won 13 times by their archrivals Manchester United. Klopp was in tears
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Alexis Lafreniere was supposed to walk on stage on Friday night in Montreal as the top pick in the NHL draft. After the COVID-19 pandemic paused the hockey season and postponed that possibility, Lafreniere was supposed to find out Friday night where he would be going when the league held its draft lottery. Instead, he must wait a little bit longer. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing among the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs — if play resumes. “We all knew