Jackson, Ravens deliver landmark win over defending champ Pats

BALTIMORE — Quarterback Lamar Jackson delivered the most monumental victory of his career, and the Baltimore Ravens can stake their claim to being the AFC’s best team.

Before a national television audience, the Ravens stomped the undefeated and defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 37-20, on the strength of Jackson’s elusiveness, a punishing running game and an opportunistic defense.

Jackson ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, which caused the sellout crowd at M&T Bank Stadium to serenade him with chants of “MVP” in the game’s final minutes. Sidestepping and slashing past a defense that stacked the box, he finished with 224 yards of total offense, throwing for 163 yards and rushing for 61.

Jackson’s record as a starter improved to 12-3, but none of those victories have been more impressive than this one. Jackson and the Ravens upset the NFL’s most decorated quarterback and coach as well as a defense off to a historic start.

The Ravens scored four offensive touchdowns against a New England defense that had allowed only four offensive touchdowns in its first eight games. Baltimore also scored 37 points against a team that hadn’t allowed more than 14 in a game this season.

Baltimore not only showed that it belongs in the same class as New England, but the Ravens are threatening the Patriots’ hold on the AFC’s top seed at the midway point of the season. The Ravens (6-2) are 1.5 games back of the Patriots for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Ravens’ first win against the Patriots since the 2012 AFC Championship Game was more than a one-man show. Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards contributed to a rushing attack that totaled 210 yards. The often maligned Ravens defense relentlessly hit Tom Brady and forced two turnovers.

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