Patriots-Ravens Week 3 news, notes, and fun facts

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BOSTON — After partaking in two extremely, shall we say, boring affairs to start the season, the New England Patriots should be involved in a pretty entertaining home opener on Sunday afternoon. The only concern is that they may not live up to their end of the bargain against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens can put points up in a hurry thanks to the electrifying play of quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens can also give up points in a hurry, as we saw last weekend when they blew a 21-point fourth quarter lead to the Miami Dolphins. That defeat should have Baltimore at a Tom Brady-level of anger when they come to Gillette in Week 3.

New England has scored just 24 points this season. That’s the same point total as the woeful Seahawks, and only the Colts (20 points) and Cowboys (23) have scored fewer points to start the season. For comparison’s sake, the Ravens scored 21 points in the second quarter last week.

At least the New England defense has been pretty solid thus far, giving up just 27 points. (They were in no way responsible for the seven points scored by Miami’s scoop-and-score in Week 1.) We’ll see how well they handle the arduous task of slowing down the Ravens’ offense on Sunday.

Without further ado, it’s time for this week’s news, notes, and extremely useful fun facts.

Week 3 Notes

  • The Patriots are 17-3 in their home openers since Gillette Stadium opened. That’s the third-best opening day record since 2002, and with a win this weekend, the Patriots can move into a tie for the best opening day record with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks — both of whom are 18-3 in their respective home openers in that span. 
  • This will be the 12th overall meeting between the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. New England owns a 9-2 record over Baltimore in regular season play, and is a perfect 6-0 at home against the Ravens.
  • The Pats are 2-2 against the Ravens in the playoffs, with all four of those postseason matchups coming at Gillette Stadium.
  • This is the first meeting between the two teams since Nov. 15, 2020, when the Patriots claimed a 23-17 victory in Foxboro on Sunday Night Football. 

Player Notes

  • Former Raven and current Patriots quarterback-seeker Matthew Judon has recorded a sack in each of the first two games this season. If he adds another this weekend, Judon will become just the second New England player to start a season with at least one sack in each of the first three games to start a season, joining Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett in that illustrious group. Tippett started the 1986 season with a sack in each of the first four games.
  • Nelson Agholor put up his first 100-yard receiving game for the Patriots last week with 110 yards off his six receptions. If Agholor goes for 100+ yards against Baltimore, it will be the first time that he’s done that in back-to-back games in his career, and the first time a Patriots receiver has done it since Julian Edelman accomplished the feat in 2019. 
  • With 4,266 passing yards for his young career, Mac Jones needs just 11 passing yards to move past Hugh Millen (4,276) into seventh place on the franchise’s all-time list. Mac has got a long way to go before catching Jim Plunkett, who sits in sixth place with 9,932 passing yards.
  • Special teams captain Matthew Slater will also be moving up an all-time list this weekend. Sunday will be his 103rd game at Gillette as a member of the Patriots, which will break a second-place tie with Stephen Gostkowski. After Sunday, Slater will only trail Tom Brady (134 games) on that all-time list.
  • Devin McCourty is currently tied with Baltimore’s Marcus Peters for the most interceptions among all active players with 31 picks. McCourty, Peters and Minnesota’s Harrison Smith are the only active players with at least 30 interceptions.  
  • New England kicker Nick Folk continues to be aces from under 50 yards, and can set a new NFL record this weekend. He upped his streak to 56 straight field goals made under 50 yards with a 28 yarder last week in Pittsburgh, tying him with Ryan Succop for the current record.
  • Moving over to the Ravens’ side of things, Lamar Jackson racked up a truckload of yards last week against Miami. He threw for 318 yards and ran for another 119 yards. He had a 75-yard touchdown toss and a 79-yard touchdown run, making Jackson the first QB in NFL history with a touchdown pass and a touchdown run of at least 75 yards in the same game.
  • Last Sunday was Jackson’s 11th game with over 100 rushing yards, breaking a tie with Michael Vick for the most such games by a quarterback in NFL history.
  • Baltimore receiver Rashod Bateman is averaging 27.8 yards on his six receptions, which leads the NFL. That number is ever so slightly inflated thanks to Bateman’s 75-yard touchdown against the Dolphins last week, but is still pretty impressive.

Connections

  • There are five former Ravens on the Patriots’ roster: Defensive linemen Carl Davis Jr. and Lawrence Guy, linebacker Matthew Judon, cornerback Shaun Wade, and running back Ty Montgomery (currently on IR).
  • Bill Belichick is heavily connected to Maryland and Baltimore. He attended high school in Annapolis, and his first NFL coaching job was with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.
  • Two Ravens hail from Massachusetts: tight end Isaiah Likely grew up in Cambridge, and fullback Patrick Richard is from Spencer.
  • Baltimore long snapper Nick Moore is also connected to Boston sports, but not through the NFL. He spent four seasons in Boston’s minor league system after the Red Sox drafted him in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB draft. He played most of his baseball career for the Lowell Spinners at first and third base.

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