New England Reels Off Second Straight Win Against Baltimore


AP Photo/Charles Krupa

After a 4 game losing streak, the Patriots have bounced back with two straight wins. Most recently they defeated the Baltimore Ravens in Gillette Stadium through a brutal rainstorm to improve to 4-5 on the season.

Quinn Sheehan, Contributing Writer

A promising 2-1 start gave Patriots fans hope for the season. With their new quarterback Cam Newton, they were rolling coming into a game against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. However, things quickly went south for the six time champions: Newton contracted COVID-19, which forced him to miss the game against the Chiefs. The Patriots lost the game due to an ineffective offense, but their situation did not improve after Newton’s return. The Patriots took a loss in their next game against an underwhelming Broncos squad before being blown out at home to an injury-riddled 49ers team. The Pats would then go on to lose against the division rival Buffalo Bills in a crucial game where Newton fumbled away a chance to tie the game or score the go ahead touchdown late in the contest. All hope seemed lost for this year’s Patriots team.

Sitting at 2-5, their playoff hopes were slim, but they got just what they needed in their next game. The Pats took down the winless New York Jets in primetime. Despite the game being closer than it likely should have, the offense looked much improved and most importantly, they finally got back in the win column. This past Sunday the Pats would receive a much harder test against the Baltimore Ravens and reigning MVP Lamar Jackson on Sunday Night Football. Through a furious rainstorm, the Patriots battled in a close game with a team many thought would blow them out. Lucky for them, running back Damien Harris ran all over the Ravens defense for 121 rushing yards. Thanks to him as well as a solid game by Newton and a trick play passing touchdown by wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, the Pats escaped with a 23-17 win. New England, now sitting at 4-5 remain third place in the AFC East well ahead of the 0-9 Jets, but still behind the 6-3 Miami Dolphins and the 7-3 Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots most likely path the playoffs looks to be through a wild card spot.  The new addition this year with an extra 7th playoff spot and the possibility of an 8th playoff spot being added just for this season gives the Patriots a far better chance than most 4-5 teams in the past. This will not be easy as they will have to battle against other hungry teams such as the aforementioned Bills and Dolphins as well as teams like the Raiders, Ravens, Titans, Browns, and Colts for a spot. However, as Belichick and the Patriots have proven throughout the last two decades, all they need is a chance.

Still, some are skeptical that New England will be able to pull it off, including Hingham High School junior Will MacLachlan. When asked if the Patriots will make the playoffs this season, he responded with, “I don’t see the Patriots making the playoffs because we are currently 10th in the AFC with teams like the Dolphins, Raiders, and Browns ahead of us who I don’t think we will catch up to because of our tough schedule down the stretch.”

The Patriots will look to get to an even 5-5 record when they take on star quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans this upcoming week. When asked for his game predictions, HHS senior Ben Cyr said, “I think the Pats will win 21-14 by shutting down the Texans on defense and by the offense continuing to pick up.”

Whether or not Belichick and the Pats pull off an improbable comeback to return to the playoffs remains to be seen, but the game against Houston serves as almost a must-win with a brutal schedule looming in the future. A loss would make it all the more likely that the Patriots would miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008, which could in turn spell an end to possibly one of the greatest dynasties in sports history.