New England Patriots: Studs and duds vs. Ravens in Week 9

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images /
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Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images
Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images /

Stud: Dont’a Hightower

While the defense was uncharacteristically outmatched in the contest for really the first time all season while facing a high-power Baltimore offense led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, Dont’a Hightower led the New England defensive squad in the game while tallying over a dozen tackles.

Hightower, who is in his eighth season in the NFL and with the Patriots in 2019, finished the game with a game-best 13 tackles, including nine solo tackles and one tackle for loss to lead all defensive players on either side of the field. It was good to see Hightower step up and try and lead the New England defense in the game on Sunday Night Football, although it ultimately wasn’t in a winning effort.

Dud: First loss of the year

Simply put, the Patriots’ first taste of defeat in 2019 has to go down as a dud. As mentioned earlier, with the loss, the Patriots fell to 8-1 overall on the season while the San Francisco 49ers now remain as the lone undefeated team in the NFL this year.

New England still holds a somewhat comfortable lead in the AFC East standings, with really the lone threat in the division to try and dethrone the Patriots as division champions being the Buffalo Bills.

Next. NFL Power Rankings: Ravens upend Pats, Browns implode. dark

New England will get a week off to try and regroup and attempt to bounce back in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road after their bye next week.