Get ready for a long week.

The Patriots held a two score lead in Baltimore with under five minutes to play last night, but were unable to hold the lead as they fell to the Ravens on a 27-yard field goal as time expired.

Patriot fans will blame the refs. Media, attempting to be objective will point to the 500 yards given up by the Patriots defense, and the inability of the offense to get an additional first down on their final drive to close out the game.Some will pin the entire loss on one player.

The truth is in both theories. The Patriots should’ve been able to win this one on their own. The Ravens did receive some help in their comeback with some drive-extending penalties *coughdefensiveholdingcough* being called on the Patriots. It is what it is, and the Patriots are now 1-2.

If you want to keep your sanity this week, you will not listen to Dennis and Callahan, Mut and Merloni or Felger and Mazz, and you will watch nothing that appears on CSNNE.

Here are a few links from today worth reading:

Patriots leave Baltimore in defeat but proved they belong – Ryan Hadfield takes comfort in this defeat.

Time to think again – Greg A Bedard says that Josh McDaniels had a solid gameplan last night, but got into his own way on occasion.

Analysis/reaction: Patriots-Ravens – Erik Scalavino says that this game will not be remembered for all the reasons that it should be remembered.

What we learned Sunday: Patriots can’t close out Ravens – Chris Price runs down a number of items.

Patriots, Ravens take it down to the wire – John Rooke notes that unless you’re a Patriots fan, this game was terrific theater.

You know what? That’s enough. If you want it all, head to

The Celtics start training camp next weekend, and Doc Rivers is ready to move on from Ray Allen:

Doc Rivers OK without Ray Allen

Some great stuff from Doc in there.


25 thoughts on “Patriots Can’t “Hold” Off Ravens, Fall To 1-2

  1. Being at the game last night, the refereeing was even worse than it must have appeared on TV. No one understood what was going on. After the confusion over the two-minute warning an a penalty on Baltimore, the BS chant was deafening. I knew then that the Pats wouldn’t get a call the rest of the game. If the Pats won, the booing would have been louder than at any point during the game and there could have been a situation as they left the field/stadium.

    And even when the Pats were up, it was impossible to enjoy the game as the refs sucked the life out of the game with indiscriminate flags, endless delays, and complete cluelessness. There is no way to determine from that game which was the better team.


    1. That was an early-season playoff-caliber performance from both of those teams, just back and forth, up and down, two prize-fighters slugging it out. Flacco or not, these two teams are in many ways the class of the AFC. So many great angles and stories. It should have been great NFL theater ….

      And instead there were the Pop Warner refs, getting in the way of the game every step of the way. Calling holding on every play, illegal contact when it’s the wrong call, phantom holding calls when players are touched, no personal fouls for contact after the play is over, scrums after almost every tackle, AND making a flippin’ measurement on a 4th down and a yard-and-a-half, giving the offensive team almost three minutes of real time to decide if a challenge is appropriate.


    2. This is why the game mattered. We now need to be +1 in the standings, like last year but for different reasons, to make sure things are at Foxboro vs. Bal, since this could happen again.


  2. I want to write the following to any media member that will no doubt crucify any Patriots fan for blaming this loss on the refs:

    1) The Patriots did not lose just because of the refs. They didn’t play well enough but the horrible officiating contributed.

    2) Understand that Patriots fans and NFL fans as a whole have been complaining since Preseason about these putz’s. Obviously the fan whose team is in a contest (on the losing end) which such highly contested calls, is going to scream.

    3) Here’s the caveat. The people that I hear complaining about last nights game have been complaining with all NFL fans since week 1. Patriots fans are not isolating their venom strictly from last nights debacle.

    These refs suck and the ginger needs to smarten up before someone gets hurt. Did anyone see that bonehead ref throw his hat on the field in the Dallas game, and Ogletree slipped causing an incompletion. What is he blew out his ACL? A fringe received coming off a good few weeks probably on a 800K contract. Is Roger gonna pay when his ass gets cut? What is the Cornerback intercepted the pass?

    4) Jim Harbaugh was given +2 challenges. When he didn’t have any timeouts, not 1 but 2!!! Nuff said!!

    So any media member (I’m writing this in anticipation of Tony Spazz) that rants about how we should forget about the refs and blame the Patriots, is just being a typical contrarian. This type of analyst or talking head is just arrogant enough to ignore a problem that is affecting ALL TEAMS, not just the Pats. Unfortunately for the fans, we don’t truly know who the better team is. It very well may be Baltimore, but these refs prevented the masses from forming any type of rational opinion.


  3. The whole world knew Baltimore could only get large chunks of ‘quick yards’ via penalty, so were the defensive backs clued into this? Also, Baltimore wouldn’t have even HAD their ‘last chance’ if Brady didn’t get snowed under from the shotgun formation. That whole last offensive series was a head-scratcher. Josh McDaniels didn’t return to the Patriots with the same magic he left here with. In my estimation, the focus ought to be on him.


  4. BRUTAL, watching the Post game last night (don’t know why I did, guess I’n a sadist) Felger is having a BAD influence on Ty Law and Troy Brown. They were grilling Wes Welker with the usual “soap opera” questions……how does it feel to be “back?”…..”Did you feel disrespected?”….”Does it bother you that Edleman had to go out with injury, so you could get more “targets”?……”DON’T TELL ME EDLEMAN IS A GOOD RECEIVER!…his career stats aren’t as good as YOURS!!”
    ……wow…just brutal. I guess Ty and Troy figure ya got to go along to get along.


    1. Completely agree. I hate Felger, but clicked over when Ch. 4 went to commercial to see if Ty Law and Troy Brown would keep him in check. Nope, they seemed to be stoking the fire. I saw the Welker interview and it was ridiculous. This all goes back to Bruce’s article from Friday. If you want face time on CSN you better agree with Felger. What a bunch of crap.

      And a big WTF to Troy Brown. Ever since he retired he’s been on WEEI touting BB and saying he’s the best at game planning, and getting the most out of players. All of a sudden Troy’s got his red jacket and he’s on TV with Felger and suddenly BB doesn’t know what he’s doing? Really?


      1. That Welker CSNNE interview spot is going to be the same every week, every time, for the rest of the season. Ty Law is even worse than Brown — last night he spends nearly a minute telling Welker “we know you won’t say it, but I will, they should pay you” before asking a question, while Felger and Brown sit there grinning all along. They did the same thing last week, and the week before, and almost certainly will ask the same question next week too. Between that and giving Ron Borges and DA prominent roles in their coverage, the pre/post game is basically unwatchable. I like Curran but he’s not on it enough to make it through to his segment.

        Otherwise, I’m done with Felger & Mazz (Mutt & Lou aren’t worth tuning into at any point). Big Mike Francesa always takes shots up here but his show is so much better in terms of its general NFL discussion I prefer listening to it than any Boston coverage at times, and especially of the Sports Hub variety.


    2. Bruce, do you have numbers for this CSNNE experiment? I’ve turned over a few times but, within minutes, Felger was just repeating whatever his shtick was on F+M that week, so I turned it off. I’d love to see how many people are watching or or not.


  5. The officials were horrible. That’s a plain fact.

    But had the normal officials been doing the game, the Pats still would have lost. They weren’t able to contain Ray Rice with the front 7, and when they started cheating a safety up to counter the run, the CBs couldn’t single-cover the out patterns. That had nothing to do with the refs, and everything to do with execution.

    It is kind of unfair for Curran to pin the whole loss on McCourty, but his multiple failures to execute were troubling.

    This was a significant step backwards for the defense, but that’s to be expected with young units. The test will be how they rebound against the Bills. If Fitzpatrick goes and tosses 450 yards on them….. we’ve got a problem.


    1. Disagree, I don’t think anyone can honestly make a determination upon the outcome.

      I am prefacing this by saying “I know there is holding on every play” but… did anyone notice the excessive holding from Michael Oher on Chandler Jones. If only a single holding is called, the outcome could be different, which is why I think we can determine who is better.


      1. I understand what you’re saying. But there’s a difference between knowing who’s the better team, and knowing who would have won that game, based on those performances, in the absence of bad officiating. The simple fact is that Joe Flacco — Joe Flacco!!!!!! — completed SEVENTY ONE PERCENT of his attempts, a stat that’s independent of the bad defensive holding/PI/illegal contact calls during the game. They put no pressure on the QB, tackled poorly, and covered poorly. I think with normal refs, this probably would have been a more lopsided Ravens win. The Pats were just a bad, bad defense last night, and were actually helped by the poor officiating for most of the first half. Once they had to leave the Cover 2, it was all over — Baltimore was able to move the ball at will on them. That’s all on them, not the refs. It’s to the offense’s credit that the team was in a good position to win… and to their detriment that they had no answer to the 2-man blitzes the Ravens were putting on them as they were trying to run out the clock.


    2. Here’s one question being asked by various media members, and what I would be wondering,

      If you don’t know what is going to be called, because of the contact in a physical game, how can you play to your ability?

      I played soccer for over a decade. As you go up the ranks, by the time you hit around age 14, you’re either playing for your HS or at a clubsport (sometimes called travel)-level. By then, you have scouting reports on certain refs who are in the rotation or your coach specifically tells you, as a defender, the level of aggressiveness to try. As a RFB/LFB/sweeper, you have to know the amount of contact if you’re a physical player or what will or will not be called on a 50/50 tackle. Guess what the difference between saving a play and a PK is? The ref. You won’t win them all. You might even be robbed as teams are each week, however, I always knew what I could or could not do and adjusted myself properly. Now, I can apply some (not all) to what’s going on here. If I didn’t know this at all, and you wind up costing your team a goal or two, this is the game. I’d be pissed.


  6. I am not convinced the defense in and of itself was the problem last night. Nor am I convinced that the officiating cost them that game. I think it was their inability or unwillingness to run the clock out at the end of the game. On their last possession Welker gets 13 yards and a first down. Three minutes left they have a run play, then the defensive holding and another first down. I am thinking game over. Run the ball 3 times, Baltimore uses their time outs. You punt…pin them deep…game over. Instead the Pats have 3 incompletes and give the ball back to Balt with 1:56 and a time out. So hand wring all you want over the refs, and the defense’s inabilty to hold them, but the Pats should have put the game away. I think Bedard is right, McDaniels is over thinking things. I have made my feelings on him well known…I think he is way overrated and the more I watch…inept.

    One last thing on the refs. I think that game was a travesty last night. However I don’t think it was the refs fault. How many times during the broadcast did Chris Collins say…I can’t believe they called that…then they looked at the replay and he said…they made a good call. The only overtly blown call I saw was the PI on McCourty that kept the Ravens out of 3rd and 16 from the 10. The issue as I saw it was the coaches and players. Harbough and Belichick let their teams play sand lot football…figuring they could intimidate the refs. The refs kept throwing flags. You would have thought one of these two coaches would have told his players to clean it up…we don’t want to keep losing yards or extending drives. They didn’t and the penalties kept coming. It destroyed the game. But the the Zebras were right over 90% of the time. They were right on the getting calls right on replay. Heck they were right most of the time and replay confirmed it. The NFL should be ashamed of that game…but maybe they should look at the coaches and players who according to the NBC announcers were practicing clutching and grabbing this week. Maybe they should look at the coaches who could have gotten a handle on things early on but instead tried to to game the system and get an edge. Flagging Harbough late in the 4th Q was too late. By that time the game was out of control. 29 accepted penalties is torture to the viewers/fans and it destroys the game. If 90% of them were legit…then that means there were still 26 penalties between the two sides. That is unconscionable …especially under these two coaches.


    1. Not going to blame entire loss on the reffs or anything. Pats left a bunch of plays on the field especially the drop ints and Arrington getting rubber legs when he could have sealed game with pick……but I’ve been watching football a long time and have seen FG’s take that SAME track many times and they were called NO GOOD


    2. I completely agree. The focus of this loss should be on McDaniels and why the offense couldn’t run the clock out to end the game. In this era of high scoring passing offenses you can’t expect the defense to completely stop a team like Baltimore with the offensive weapons that they have. Baltimore supposedly has one of the better defenses in football and Brady moved the ball on them pretty effectively most of the night. The Pats continue to lose some of these big games in which they have the lead late because they continually fail to execute late in the 4th quarter in running the clock out and getting that last first down. If you give the ball back to a good QB like Flacco with 1 or 2 minutes left… he’s going to move down the field. We’ll see how the offense evolves as the season goes along.


  7. Yeah, I’m already avoiding Mutt and Merloni & Felger and Mazz. Dennis and callahan are OK for about one day after something like this, then they get repetitive and even more alarmist than they were to begin with.

    I really enjoy Bedard’s (relatively) straightforward analysis. Price’s article is nice, too.

    The refs were bad, but in some ways they were worse for what they didn’t call (the chippiness in the 1st half was Not Good) than for what they did call. And in terms of questionable stuff, I had more issues with Gronk being called for holding than for any of the defensive holding calls, really. Though I had even more issues with the last Pats drive in the 4th quarter than anything the refs actually called, so anyway.


  8. Who knew years later that Bud Selig would be the best commisioner in sports. Labor peace, common sense for the most part.
    The other 3 bozos are either too stupid(Goody), too stubborn(Stern), or cowardly (Bettman). Goody has the monolithic TV contract to prop him up but the guy is a bozo. Get the refs back.


    1. I was going to say.. leave it to Goodell and Bettman to make David Stern and Selig look up-to-date and good. Seriously.. this is a joke. I’m quite glad that Saturday hasn’t been wrecked like Sunday. For non-CFB fans, my apologies.


  9. Here’s also a suggestion.. NFL is placing cameras on every other angle of the game. They’ve recently had something leaked about pylon cameras. I think it’s time for goal-post cameras. We lost in the same way the Steelers did to the Raiders, however, the kick at the end was straight down the center. Lets invest in something above each goal post… too many games now come down to this.


  10. This is a national thing but might help the ref thing: We’re now talking about replacement refs on Cable News Networks:

    Really bad. This is so sad. I honestly have a better time on Saturday now, than Sunday, because of how long/bad these games are.

    I ignore cable news, especially around election time, but assume they could not be alone.
    Here’s also a suggestion.. NFL is placing cameras on every other angle of the game. They’ve recently had something leaked about pylon cameras. I think it’s time for goal-post cameras. We lost in the same way the Steelers did to the Raiders, however, the kick at the end was straight down the center. Lets invest in something above each goal post… too many games now come down to this.


  11. If you missed the end of the Green Bay game.. you just witnessed a bad call costing GB the game.

    darren rovell ‏@darrenrovell

    You have just watched the last game officiated by the replacement refs. Count it.


    1. Thus far, each cable news network has talked about this and I am willing to bet that every single non-sports show on the networks has something on this. At this point, I’d be worried about job security if I’m Goodell. This is beyond a joke now.

      Want to know the sad thing? Russel Wilson saw his national title hopes, last year at Wisconsin, disappear on an identical play: (QB for Wisconsin now Seattle)

      Guess what happened there? The refs conferenced and GOT IT RIGHT (the ball did cross the plane).

      Dan Wetzel already hot on the topic:

      Also, I love the tone of both writers/media/fans: When this happened to the Patriots/Hoodie? Good, suspend him! He deserved it! Bad Coach! Pats suck! But now that it happened to the absolute darling Packers? And that lovable Aaron Rodgers? We can’t have that! The Packers got robbed! We need to fix this!


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