by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
October 5, 2009

The Patriots had to play a solid game to beat the Ravens, and though far from perfect, they made enough plays on either side of the ball to come away with a 27-21 win.

First and foremost, good luck and get-well wishes to Baltimore offensive tackle Jared Gaither, who left the game in the first half with an apparent head injury. Yet another reminder of how quickly this game gets dangerous.

Now, this week’s reactions…

Fourth And None: The biggest defensive stand of the game came with 5:17 remaining and the Ravens needing a yard. Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren created the gap for Gary Guyton and Brendan McGowan, who wrapped up Willis McGahee.

Mason Tenders: In honor of my old summer job, here’s to the New England secondary stepping up after receiver Derrick Mason got working early (six catches, 77 yards, one TD on the opening drive). Mason had only had one catch after that. Rookie Darius Butler knocked down passes in the end zone; Brandon Meriweather swatted the ball away at the two. Leigh Bodden intercepted Joe Flacco with 1:11 left in the first half.

More, Morer, Morris: Veteran Sammy Morris just contributes. The halfback/fullback/flanker gained 21 yards on six carries (including a two-yard plunge on fourth and one) and caught five passes for 35 yards (with five of those carrying linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo). Add his nifty, shifty 12-yard touchdown run in the second, and old Mo’ had himself a game.

Which, I’m afraid, brings us to…

Laurence Mo’ Ruin He: Maybe, at some point, Laurence Maroney will contribute on a regular basis. (Sunday, he gained six yards on seven attempts and 18 yards per kickoff return.) Some day. I’m rooting for the guy, but sweet mercy, this is taking years.

That Totally Suggs: With the Pats leading by 10 midway through the third, linebacker Terrell Suggs swept around tackle Matt Light like breeze past a tree, surprising Brady and causing a strip-sack/touchdown for Baltimore.

Mmmflop: Punter Chris Hanson (yeah, it’s old, but it’s still catchy) averaged only 25 yards per punt. Two of his boots became touchbacks resulting in paltry nets of 20 and 19 yards.

We’ll close with the opening play –

Overture, Curtain, Lights: What better way to start than a fumble on the kickoff caused by Eric Alexander and recovered by McGowan? If only all shows began so well.

Email Chris Warner at