After the Jets scored a field goal early in the 1st quarter, the Ravens scored 19 unanswered points and held New York scoreless for the final 53:08 of the game to get the crucial win in Baltimore.
“What can you say about our defense? I mean, it was a dominant defensive performance,” said John Harbaugh during the post-game press conference. “All three levels played exceptionally well.”
Harbaugh was right. The Ravens were dominant. They played a 60-minute game for the first time in a long time. In fact, it was only the second time in their last 13 games the Ravens won by more than one possession.
The Jets’ offense looked like they were outmatched and they were. Corey Graham had two interceptions, the Ravens sacked Geno Smith three times and Gang Green’s signal caller could never get into the rhythm of the game, perhaps due in part to the Baltimore crowd.
Though the Jets’ defense held the Ravens to their customary 2.2 yards per carry, Joe Flacco made enough big plays to put the Ravens ahead for good.
On two throws in particular, Flacco hit Torrey Smith for 60 yards and Jacoby Jones for a 66-yard touchdown. Those 126 yards accounted for 46.2 percent of Flacco’s passing yards on the day.
Jones’ touchdown came on a play where he ran past former Raven Ed Reed. “Not to talk trash, but I done scored on Ed every time I played against him,” Jones said after the game.
He later added, “Me and Ed, we go way back. We’re from New Orleans and that’s my guy.”
Reed finished the game with five tackles and one pass defensed.
Another contributor to Baltimore’s offense was backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Officially Taylor attempted one pass and carried four times, all for a total of seven net yards. But perhaps it was enough of a wrinkle to keep New York’s defensive front guessing.
The player of the game though, if not Graham, was Justin Tucker. The second-year kicker out of Texas was 4-for-4 on the day, including a 53-yarder. Tucker has now made 24 of his 26 attempts this season, including 22 in a row.
As a whole the Baltimore special teams got the job done. Tucker made all his kicks and the Ravens punt return unit gained 8.6 more yards per punt return than New York’s did.
“You’re never good turning the ball over. You’re never good if don’t play good special teams,” said Harbaugh.
Sure it wasn’t a pretty game according to the casual fan. But to people who solely root for the Ravens to win, it was a sight for sore eyes.
Next up for the Ravens is a home game on Thanksgiving night against the Steelers, who also won and improved to 5-6.
If the Bengals lose at San Diego next Sunday, the winner of Thursday’s game in Baltimore will be just one game behind Cincinnati with four games left to play.
The games only get bigger from here.
Get ready for the ride.