Last Night’s Ravens-Jets game was unusual. Maybe it was the seven combined turnovers, or the five defensive or special teams touchdowns that set it apart. Maybe it was the fact that only one offensive touchdown was scored by either team. Or maybe we’re witnessing, finally, the rise of the Ravens as a serious Super Bowl contender.
And subsequently, the fall of the Jets.
I could list off offensive stats, but that wouldn’t tell the real story of the game. Both Flacco and Sanchez had QB ratings in the 30′s, the Jets running game (and offensive line) continued their troubling play, while all the big plays came from the defenses and special teams.
The Ravens scored three defensive touchdowns; two on fumbles by Sanchez and another on an interception return. The Jets scored their only two touchdowns on the night by way of a 107 yard kick-off return by Joe McKnight and an interception return.
What looked like a comfortable lead for the Ravens at one point quickly tilted back to a game in question thanks to the Jets D. Still, with the Ravens continually pressuring Sanchez up the middle while stopping the run, they eventually pulled away and sealed a 34-17 victory.
I’ll save all the Flacco looked awful talk because, for once, he has an excuse; that Jets defense is one of the better ones against the pass. The Ravens won this game the way they used to do it: with Defense, Defense, Defense.
The only thing to question was the Ravens play calling late in the first half by Cam Cameron. They had a 27-7 lead, yet Cameron continued to throw the ball. On a wet, cold night, against a strong pass defense, you need to pound the ball with Rice and Williams. Flacco was picked off, and that was returned for a touchdown. The Ravens lead at half wasn’t quite as comfortable as it could’ve been: 27-17.
For the past two weeks the Ravens have looked like one of the better teams in the AFC. Granted they played the Rams last week, and possibly a not-so-strong Jets squad this week; but things look to be coming together for the birds.
Heading into their bye week they stand alone atop the AFC North at 3-1. If they can continue to play this type of defense, now ranked 9th against the pass and 3rd against the run, they can beat any team. For them it’s just a matter of scoring enough points and staying balanced on the offensive side.
For now, they’ll rest up, enjoy their week off, and prepare to play the Texans on October 16th.
About the Author
Written by Frank Sullivan
Frank is a graduate of Old Dominion University, sports fan, author, and founder of TheBloosh.com. He's been working with prosportsblogging.com since April 2011, and has covered the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Ravens, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, and the Washington Wizards. Frank can be reached @franksullivan on twitter.