Ravens - Patriots: 5 reasons for the outcome

1. In a bitter 24-3 defeat to the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (10-1) on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens (7-4) were exposed offensively and defensively.

Not only did they generate just 124 net yards on 59 offensive plays for a 2.4 average per carry, but a fumble by quarterback Kyle Boller was recovered for a touchdown. Boller completed only 15 of 35 passes for 93 yards with an interception for a 38.4 passer rating. This followed a solid month where the young quarterback had made strides. He appeared utterly confused His longest completion was only 20 yards. He was unable to take advantage of mismatches against a secondary that looked outgunned. His pass protection was shoddy as he was sacked four times. Boller was inaccurate on short, intermediate and deep balls. And his receivers didn't catch the ball well in the rainy conditions. Plus, the Patriots have won their last 17 homes games and 25 of their last 26 games while claiming two of the last three Super Bowl titles.

2. Baltimore's third-ranked defense allowed Corey Dillon to gash them for a game-high 123 yards on 30 carries, including a touchdown run directed at linebacker Ray Lewis. Tackling wasn't up to the Ravens' usually high standards. The Ravens allowed 314 yards of total offense.

3. Without Jamal Lewis, the Ravens rushed for only 77 yards on 20 carries as they were held under 100 yards rushing for the third game in a row. Chester Taylor was limited to 61 yards on 16 carries with a long run of eight yards.

4. The Ravens failed to capitalize at the end of the first half on a 1st-and-goal at the Patriots' 4. Boller's fade pass to Randy Hymes with nine seconds left was off the mark. The Ravens had to settle for a 22-yard Matt Stover field goal, instead of a touchdown.

5. The kickoff team faltered to start the second half. Bethel Johnson's 27-yard return to the Patriots' 41 ultimately set up Adam Vinatieri's 40-yard field goal for the game-winning points as Baltimore mounted no comeback from that point onward.

Aaron Wilson writes for RavensInsider.Com and the Carroll County Times.

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