The New England Patriots lost their first game of the season on Sunday, falling 37-20 to the Baltimore Ravens.
The reigning Super Bowl champions, who were 8-0 heading into this weekend, suffered their first competitive defeat since December 2018, leaving just one unbeaten team — the 49ers — in the NFL.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson, drafted 32nd overall last year, led the Ravens to the win, running for 61 yards and two touchdowns and throwing for 163 yards and another touchdown.
Jackson’s dynamism had the much-vaunted Patriots defense worried throughout the game, as they gave up as many touchdowns in one game (four) to the Ravens as it had allowed all season.
The Patriots now have almost two weeks to mull on their first loss as they go on a bye week before facing the Philadelphia Eagles on November 17, a rematch of Super Bowl LII.
But for six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady, a loss can sometimes be beneficial.
“Losses always find a way to recalibrate how you see yourself and we obviously have a lot of work to do,” Brady told reporters.
“It just wasn’t good enough. To get beat by 17 points, that’s not what we’re about.”
Patriots safety Devin McCourty admitted that there was lots of work to be done.
“We can’t think we’re going to have a bye week and fix every problem that we had throughout the season and it’ll just carry us,” he told reporters.
“It doesn’t work like that. I think if it did, you’d see a lot of better football teams out here.”
In 2007, the Patriots finished with a perfect 16-0 record, losing eventually in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
The unbeaten San Francisco 49ers is 8-0 this season and hosts the Seattle Seahawks next Monday.
The Ravens have a 6-2 record and sit atop the AFC North division.
Getting on the board
While the Patriots are no longer undefeated, the Miami Dolphins are no longer winless.
The Florida team won their first game of the season, beating the New York Jets and former head coach Adam Gase 26-18.
Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes, leading the Dolphins to their highest point total of the season.
The Dolphins avoided what would have been the second 0-8 start in franchise history, the first coming in 2007.
The win leaves the Cincinnati Bengals (0-8) as the NFL’s lone winless team this season. Under first-year head coach Gase, the Jets now have a 1-7 record.