Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris and Cam Newton came up big for the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, leading New England to a 23-17 victory over the Ravens.
The Ravens now are in a second-place tie with the Browns at 6-3, three games behind the undefeated Steelers. They went 14-2 last season. The Patriots aren’t dead yet, remaining in the postseason race with their second consecutive victory in moving to 4-5.
Burkhead caught two first-half touchdown passes, one from Newton and one from receiver Jakobi Meyers on a trick play. Harris had his third career 100-yard game, with 121 yards on 22 carries. Newton threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Burkhead and ran for a 4-yard touchdown.
Newton has become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era with nine rushing touchdowns in his first eight games of a season, according to NFL Research. He missed one game with COVID-19. (Kyler Murray had eight touchdowns in eight games before rushing for two more in his ninth game Sunday.)
The Patriots rushed for 173 yards, with Newton throwing for only 118 in a heavy rain. Newton ran for 21 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and Burkhead 31 yards on six carries.
Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, ran for 55 yards on 11 carries and completed 24 of 34 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. The interception he threw to J.C. Jackson before the half with the Ravens in field-goal range proved pivotal.
Willie Snead caught five passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns.