Three and Out: Re-Examining the New England Loss

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First Down

I watched a fair bit of the [New England](http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=44.2055555556,-70.306425&spn=0.1,0.1&q=44.2055555556,-70.306425 (New England)&t=h "New England")-Baltimore game on Sunday. With the way that the Ravens started, it seemed that much of the media was ready to crown them the best team in the AFC. Granted, if Mark Clayton could catch a fourth-down pass that hits him right between the numbers, then maybe Baltimore pulls out a stirring comeback on the road and earns the status that it seemed that many wanted to give to them.

Second Down

However, once again New England deserves credit for pulling out the 27-21 victory. So, after beating the Falcons in Week 3, the Patriots have defeated two previously unbeaten teams in a row at home. Baltimore outgained New England in total yards, 363 to 319, but as was the case against the Falcons, New England dominated time of possession, almost 35 minutes to 25.

Third Down

This morning on 680 The Fan, ESPN's Chris Mortenson was saying that once again in league circles many are in awe of what New England Head Coach Bill Belichick is doing for his ability to defeat opponents through different means. In 2007, the Patriots seemed to do things with the pass that had never been done before. In 2008, he won 11 games with a quarterback who threw less than 40 passes as a collegiate player. And now, perhaps in the knowledge that his defense cannot hold up if it stays on the field for too long, he is doing it by keeping the ball away from the opposition.

And out...

Does New England's victory over Baltimore make you re-appraise the Falcons' game against the Patriots? For sure, if the Falcons can manage this coming Sunday what would have to be deemed an impressive road victory over an improved [San Francisco](http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=37.7793,-122.4192&spn=0.1,0.1&q=37.7793,-122.4192 (San Francisco)&t=h "San Francisco") team, that would only re-affirm their status as one of the teams to beat in the NFC.


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