The New England Patriots uncharacteristically beat themselves in Sunday night's 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and one of the costliest mistakes was Julian Edelman's fumble in the third quarter that was returned for a touchdown.
The Patriots received the second half kickoff looking to build on the 13 unanswered points they scored to close out the first half, and it didn't take long for the their offense to move into Ravens territory, as Tom Brady and Co. picked up three first downs to set up a 1st-and-10 at the Baltimore 30-yard line.
That's where Brady found Edelman with a completion toward the left sideline, but as the veteran wide receiver fought through a tackle trying to rack up a few extra yards, the ball was jarred loose and fell right into the hands of Ravens defensive back Marlon Humphrey. The former University of Alabama star returned the fumble 70 yards for a touchdown to increase Baltimore's lead to 24-13.
"You just got to move on," Edelman told reporters when asked about his fumble. "Put us in a hole. You can't turn the ball over against a team like that, when they can hold the ball that long. Feel like I let my team down, but you gotta move on. It just wasn't our day. You gotta tip your hat to the Baltimore Ravens. They played a good game."
The Patriots did bounce back and score a touchdown on their next drive after Edelman's fumble, but playing from behind ultimately was too much to overcome against a Ravens team that killed the clock with two second-half touchdown drives that lasted more than eight minutes. New England had trailed for just 13:51 through their first eight games combined. The defending champs trailed for all but 6:47 of Sunday's matchup at M&T Bank Stadium.
"It's definitely different to play from behind," Edelman admitted. "You don't want to play from behind against a team like this. That's what they live off off, they thrive off of. We didn't play the game we wanted to. Like I said, you gotta tip your hat. Baltimore played a good game. They outplayed us."
Edelman, aside from his fumble, played really well. He tallied 10 receptions for a team-high 89 yards on 11 targets. The Super Bowl LIII MVP is averaging 8.4 receptions for 87.4 yards with a total of three touchdowns over the last five games.
The Patriots will have plenty of time to think about how to fix the issues that plagued them versus the Ravens. New England is one of six teams with a Week 10 bye, and its schedule is pretty difficult after that, including matchups against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.
Edelman is confident the Patriots will use this loss as a learning experience as they continue to build toward another playoff run.
"We can go two ways from here," Edelman said. "You either learn from it and get better and move on, or you can go the other way. I have faith that we're going to learn from it, get back to where we need to be and go on from there."
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Julian Edelman reacts to costly fumble in Patriots' loss to Ravens originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston