The Baltimore Ravens defense set a franchise record returning three Jet turnovers for touchdowns and breezed to a 34-17 victory in a wild ballgame.
The first play of New York’s first series was disastrous as Ed Reed brought the pressure and caused a strip sack of Jets Quarterback Mark Sanchez. Linebacker Jameel McClain scooped up the loose football and rumbled in from six yards out to give Baltimore the early lead.
The Jets responded right away when Joe McKnight ran back the ensuing kickoff 107 yards to tie the game at seven. But Baltimore was able to add a Billy Cundiff 38-yd Field Goal and a Ray Rice Touchdown run for 3 yards out to close a productive quarter with a 17-7 lead.
The New York offense was ineffective most of the evening as they turned it over four times (three by Sanchez) and could only manage eight First Downs. The suffocating Ravens defense used a devastating sack by Haloti Ngata that led to a Jarret Johnson touchdown in the Second Quarter and finally in the Third a Lardarius Webb pick six that helped squash any hopes for a New York comeback.
The Ravens defense was inspiring and helped mask the issues Joe Flacco had on the offensive side of the ball. Flacco was solid early on but made costly mistakes such as an ill-advised interception midway through the Second Quarter. in fact Flacco’s unit registered negative yardage in the Second. The worst was watching Flacco, off balance as he chucked the ball right into Linebacker David Harris’ midsection. Harris promptly ran the ball back for a touchdown of his own to cut the lead to 27-14. Flacco’s indecisiveness hurt him in the Second half as he was stripped from behind. He finished a rather unimpressive 10 for 31 for 163 yards with no touchdowns.
This game was all about the defense and an almost bizarre First Half that saw Baltimore only hold a ten point lead at halftime 27-17. They clamped down on the Jets and held them scoreless in the Second Half.
The win pushed Baltimore to (3-1) and a game up in the AFC North. They will be on a Bye next week before returning in Week Six to host the Houston Texans on October 16th.