The Patriots didn’t look very good last Sunday night in Baltimore, but was that all part of New England’s plan?
The Ravens handed the Patriots their first loss of the season in pretty convincing fashion. Lamar Jackson ran wild all night long at M&T Bank Stadium, while Baltimore’s defense made life awfully tough for Tom Brady and Co.
In an effort to make sense of New England’s lackluster showing, some folks apparently are buying into the idea the Patriots played possum against the Ravens in order to not show a potential playoff opponent their entire hand. Jay Glazer, however, isn’t buying it.
“Hellllll no! This seems to be the conspiracy theory running around the league right now. I definitely don’t see it,” Glazer wrote in his weekly mailbag for The Athletic. “You’re not going to tell a player to hold back. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are going to want to win every game out there. What great coaches do is, if they beat you the first time, then you out-adjust them the second time. No, I don’t see it.”
The simple fact of the matter is, Baltimore was the better team in Week 9. New England tremendously benefitted from a light schedule through eight weeks, and the Ravens exposed some of its weaknesses. No one better prepares for the long haul than Belichick, but purposely laying an egg doesn’t seem like a strategy he’d opt for.
There are no moral victories in the NFL, but the Patriots’ trip to Baltimore wasn’t a total loss. As Tedy Bruschi noted after the game, New England very well could benefit from the defeat down the road.