The Baltimore Ravens scored three defensive touchdowns, a new team record, as they beat up the New York Jets, 34-17, in a home game on Oct. 2 at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore.
Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan made his first return to Charm City since leaving in 2009 to take the coaching job in New York. He had served as a defensive coach for the Ravens from 1998 to 2008, helping mold Baltimore’s defensive unit into one of the stingiest in the league. But that same defense he led for years peeled back on his Jets Sunday night, ripping New York quarterback Mark Sanchez apart. The third-year quarterback completed just 11 of 35 passes for 119 yards and an interception that was returned back for a Ravens touchdown. Sanchez was also sacked twice, fumbling the ball twice, both which the Ravens scooped up and returned for touchdowns.
The Jets’ offense also had absolutely no where to run the ball, as starting running back Shonn Greene was held to just 23 rushing yards on 10 carries. Jets’ reserve back LaDainian Tomlinson was held to minus-three yards on two carries.
Rex Ryan is now 0-2 against the Ravens as a head coach; his Jets lost to Baltimore, 10-9, in New York in the season opener in 2010.
“First off, I’ve been around football a long time and I’ve never seen anything like that before… You have to tip your hat off to the Ravens’ defense, in particular, and their whole team. But the performance by their defense was spectacular,” Ryan said after the game. “It reminded me of the 2000 and 2006 defenses. I don’t know what else to say, we got it handed to us.”
Most Outstanding Player(s) of the Game:
It’s hard to single out any one individually on the Ravens’ defense on Sunday because they all played very well.
But veteran linebackers Jarrett Johnson and Jameel McClain stood out after both scoring touchdowns on fumble recoveries. Ravens’ star safety Ed Reed forced the fumble that McClain scored on, and star tackle Haloti Ngata forced the fumble that Johnson scored on. Third-year cornerback Lardarious Webb also scored on defense, intercepting Sanchez and returning the ball 73 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“It was the best defensive performance I thought I’d seen since the amazing defensive performance in the Pittsburgh Steelers game with the seven turnovers against that offense. But this topped it,” Ravens coach John Habaugh said. “To have three returns for touchdowns off of turnovers by your defense, has it ever been done before? Maybe it has… that’s pretty impressive to say the least.”
Unsung Hero of the Game:
The Ravens didn’t do much on offense beyond the first quarter as they faced a tough Jets’ defense. But the little damage they did in the opening period came through the hands of second-year tight end Ed Dickson, who had caught a team-high four catches for 45 yards. New York has perhaps the best secondary in the league with All Pro cornerback Darrell Revis on one side of the field and Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie on the other side; they did a good job strapping up the Ravens’ receivers, so Dickson was the only player to consistently get open as he outmatched defending linebackers.
Ray Rice scored the only offensive touchdown for Baltimore Sunday night; he finished with 66 rushing yards on 25 carries, along with 64 receiving yards on two catches.
The Ravens (3-1 overall) will take a bye week next Sunday, Oct. 9. Their next action comes on Oct. 16 when they host the Houston Texans (3-1 overall) at M&T Bank Stadium with a 4:14 p.m. kickoff.