Patriots handed first loss; 49ers only undefeated team

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There will be no 16-0, Part II in Foxborough this season. Not after New England lost for the first time this year in a Sunday night slugfest in Baltimore.

Against one of the AFC's top contenders in Lamar Jackson's Ravens, the Patriots were beaten on the ground, in the air, on the stat sheet and in time of possession. The Boogeymen defense gave up as many touchdowns in one game (4) as it had allowed all season. For the first time all year, New England looked like the lesser team in its 37-20 defeat.

"We competed out there. It just wasn't good enough," Patriots coach Bill Belichick mumbled after the defeat. "So we've all got to do a better job and it starts with me."

The Patriots, now 8-1, will have to live with this loss for longer than most. New England's bye week is this coming week, and the Pats won't play until Nov. 17 when they face the Philadelphia Eagles in a Super Bowl LII rematch.

Until then, New England has work to do.

"We can't think we're gonna have a bye week and fix every problem that we had throughout the season and it'll just carry us," safety Devin McCourty told reporters. "It doesn't work like that. I think if it did, you'd see a lot of better football teams out here."

One of those football teams better than New England, at least in the standings, is the San Francisco 49ers, who because of New England's defeat, are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. At 8-0, San Francisco will put its unbeaten mark to the test next Monday when it hosts the Seattle Seahawks.

All the while, Tom Brady and his Patriots will be focused on leaving their lone loss behind them.

"Losses always find a way to recalibrate how you see yourself and we obviously have a lot of work to do," Brady said of his attitude toward the bye. "It just wasn't good enough. To get beat by 17 points, that's not what we're about."

This year's Week 9 defeat was the latest "first loss" New England has experienced since 2015 when the Pats started 10-0 and lost to Brock Osweiler's Denver Broncos. New England would lose again to those eventual Super Bowl champion Broncos in the AFC title game.

Here in 2019, New England is still situated atop the standings, 1.5 games clear of the Ravens in the conference and of the Buffalo Bills in the division. So it's no surprise that the six-time Super Bowl champion Patriots are taking the loss in stride.

"It's not the first game we've ever lost," McCourty said. "We lost a game. Get back to work. Figure it out and go play better next time you're out there."

They're on to Philadelphia.

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