Patriots lose to Ravens at home opener, 37-26, Mac Jones injured

Lamar Jackson threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score to help the Baltimore Ravens hold off the New England Patriots 37-26 on Sunday.

New England’s Mac Jones suffered a leg injury with less than two minutes to play, hopping off the field and heading straight to the locker room. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 321 yards but threw three interceptions.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported after the game that Jones had X-Rays on his ankle following the game and they were negative, according to a source and that Jones’ ankle will continue to be evaluated.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, center left, is brought down by Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Calais Campbell, center, right, in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. Jones limped to the sidelines following the play. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, center left, is brought down by Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Calais Campbell, center, right, in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. Jones limped to the sidelines following the play. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

The NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, citing team sources, followed up Rapoport’s tweet with his own, saying Mac Jones suffered tendon and/or ligament damage which X-Rays wouldn’t show.

The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said a high ankle sprain may end up sidelining Johes “for a bit” and that an MRI was planned for Monday.

The second-year signal-caller and heir to Tom Brady as the Patriots quarterback, Jones left the game in the fourth quarter in obvious pain and needed to be helped to the locker room. He was not available to reporters because of what the team said was a leg injury.

“Mac is a hell of a quarterback,” Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon said. “We don’t know what happened. I’m riding with (No.) 10. We have to play in the parking lot, we play at Gillette (Stadium), whatever. I’m riding with him.”

Jones grimaced in pain, reached for his ankle and then pulled himself up on one leg before hopping off the field and heading to the locker room. Photos of him heading down the stairs, with someone under each arm to help him, also showed him in what appeared to be extreme pain.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) is helped off the field after suffering a leg injury with less than two minutes to play in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) is helped off the field after suffering a leg injury with less than two minutes to play in the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Coach Bill Belichick said he had no information on the injury. Patriots spokesman Stacey James confirmed that Jones had a leg injury and would not be available. While reporters waited near Jones’ locker, a team employee came and gathered his things.

“Playing quarterback in this league, you take some hits. It’s tough,” defensive back Devin McCourty said. “I know if he has something he can go and play with, he’s going to play with it. ... I think we’ll continue to rally around him.”

The Patriots have 36-year-old Brian Hoyer as their backup, with rookie Bailey Zappe as their No. 3 quarterback. Hoyer has played for seven teams in 14 seasons — including three stints with New England — almost all of it as a backup.

“Brian Hoyer, he’s a leader. He’s a vet. He knows the defenses,” Parker said. “He’s seen it all.”

Justin Tucker kicked a 56-yard field goal, the 50th of his career from 50 yards or more, as Baltimore claimed its first regular-season victory at New England in seven tries.

Despite being under pressure for most of the day and losing another member of his offensive line to an early injury, Jackson completed 18 of 29 passes for 218 yards with an interception. He rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries. Mark Andrews had eight catches for 89 yards and two TDs.

DeVante Parker had five catches for 156 yards for New England.

The Patriots had four turnovers on the day — Jones’ three picks and a late fumble by Nelson Agholor.

Trailing by a point at halftime, Jones came out firing in the third quarter. He completed a 36-yard pass to Parker to get into Ravens territory and followed it up with a 25-yard strike to Parker that put the ball on the 2.

The 7-play, 75-yard drive ended with Damien Harris’ 2-yard TD run that put the Patriots in front 20-14.

The Ravens responded in the ensuing series when Jackson found Josh Oliver from 1 yard out to conclude a 75-yard drive.

Following a quick punt by the Patriots, Jackson got free for a 38-yard run to get the ball back into the red zone. He then connected with Devin Duvernay from 4 yards out for another TD.

The Ravens got the ball right back after Jones’ pass intended for Parker was picked off by linebacker Josh Bynes. Baltimore moved the ball only 5 yards, but it was enough for Tucker’s long field goal, which increased the lead to 31-20.

The Patriots were successful on a fourth-and-1 from the 17 to help set up a 1-yard TD run by Rhamondre Stevenson. It trimmed the gap to 31-26 after 2-point conversion try was unsuccessful.

New England got the ball back Rashod Bateman caught a 24-yard pass, then fumbled. Jabril Peppers recovered.

The Patriots took it down to the Ravens 10, but Jones’ pass into the end zone overshot Parker and was intercepted by Marlon Humphrey.

A quick three-and-out and short punt by Baltimore gave the Patriots the ball back. But a 30-yard pass from Jones to Agholor ended with strip from behind by Kyle Hamilton and recovery by Marcus Peters along the sideline with 5:45 left.

The Ravens capitalized, marching 73 yards over the next 2:35 to take a 37-26 lead on Jackson’s 9-yard TD run.

Baltimore’s offense was effective despite having to go deep into its depth chart because of injuries.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley remained inactive as he continues to work his way back from the ankle issue that kept him sidelined for most of last season.

The Ravens then lost Patrick Mekari on their first series to a left ankle issue, forcing them to go with fourth-stringer Daniel Faalele to protect Jackson’s blind side.

The Patriots took advantage, sacking Jackson four times in the first half – three by Deatrich Wise. Jackson was also intercepted early in the second quarter by Jonathan Jones, which New England turned into points when Jones scored on a 3-yard run.

KICKING IT

Nick Folk made a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter that was his 57th in a row from inside 50 yards — an NFL record.

Folk hasn’t missed from inside 50 since the 2020 season opener against Miami.

The kick cut the Baltimore lead to 7-3 and broke the record that Ryan Succop set with Tennessee from 2014-17. Folk added a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

INJURIES

Ravens: Mekari didn’t return after his ankle injury. ... LB Justin Houston left in the second quarter with a groin injury. ... DT Michael Pierce left in the second quarter with an arm injury.

Patriots: DE Lawrence Guy left with a shoulder injury in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Host Buffalo next Sunday.

Patriots: On the road for the third time in four games when they visit Green Bay next Sunday.

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