If there is one word that sums up last nights Ravens’ 34-17 win over the New York Jets, it’s defense. The Ravens reminded their former defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan, before a nationally-televised audience, when it comes to having a physical and opportunistic defense, the Ravens are still in a class of their own.
The Ravens set a franchise record with three defensive touchdowns en route to their dominating victory over the New York Jets before an announced 71,247 at M&T Bank Stadium.
In four games, the Ravens’ defense has forced a league best 14 turnovers, and scored four touchdowns. At 3-1 headed into the bye week, the Ravens stand alone at the top of the AFC North in sole possession of first place.
Safety Ed Reed set the tone early on, blitzing off the edge on the Jets’ first offensive play, forcing a fumble that was returned six yards for a touchdown by linebacker Jameel McClain. Then, in the second quarter, Mark Sanchez was decked by defensive tackle Haloti Ngata as he attempted to throw the ball. Linebacker Jarrett Johnson promptly scooped up the ball returning it 26 yards for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a 27-7 lead.
The Ravens defense was so dominating, that the 150 yards of total offense gained by the Jets, were the fewest for a Ryan-coached Jets team. In fact, the Jets had nearly as many turnovers (four) as first downs (seven). The Jets 69 penalty yards nearly doubled their rushing total of just 38 yards.
However, things weren’t too much better for Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense. Flacco, who went 8-for-17 for 142 yards in the first quarter, was a non-factor in the remaining three quarters of the game. In quarters two, three and four, Flacco combined to go 2-for-14 for 21 yards with one interception and one fumble.
He finished last night’s game with a dismal 37.4 quarterback rating, throwing 12 incompletions at one point. Things got so bad for Flacco that the Ravens had no choice but to turn to the running game, pounding the rock 11 straight plays spanning the third and fourth quarters.
Flacco’s night was highlighted with 1:19 left in the first quarter, when Ray Rice ended the Ravens’ eight-play 59-yard drive with a three-yard td run. On the drive, he hit Rice on a third and 13, receiver Anquan Boldin for 28 yards, and then tight end Ed Dickson for 13 to put the Ravens in a goal-to-go situation.
The Ravens have now won seven straight over the New York Jets, and last night marked the 12th win in the last 13 games at M&T Bank Stadium for Baltimore.