The Patriots defense wasn't the first to fall to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens' unique brand of football and they won't be the last. Though they had some early success against Jackson, once the quarterback and the powerful blockers in front of him started to find their stride it was hard to find a way to slow down the balanced attack, but the Patriots defense should turn the page on this one and take it for what it was, falling victim to an MVP-type performance by a special, unique player.
"Adding in Lamar is always the extra factor, you know, you're playing 11 on 11 instead of 11 on 10, which is most Sundays," said cornerback Jonathan Jones after the team regrouped on Monday. "I think some of it just comes down to one-on-one matchups and making those plays and you know, they made them and we didn't."
Jones grabbed an interception and forced a fumble, continuing a strong start for the trusted veteran. With Mac Jones' health in question, the defense could be called upon to step up to help win games.
It will help if Jones and the defense can continue to deliver turnovers. But he acknowledged the need for more.
"I feel like we've been in every game we've been in this year and had an opportunity and in this league, that's kind of all you want," said Jones. "I just think there's definitely more plays that need to be made and more stops that need to be made."
They have little time to lament the loss because next they're off to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers, another MVP quarterback, but one who does most of his damage from the pocket. The Packers offense might still be a work in progress with some rising young receivers making up for what was lost in Davante Adams, but Rodgers is every bit as capable of taking over a game as Jackson is.
"We know we're gonna have our work cut out for us," said Jones of Rodgers. "Getting here into the film study this week and getting used to him. They're a different team [at the] skill positions, but he's the same quarterback and he's slinging the ball."