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Defense Carries Ravens To 34-17 Victory

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Behind a franchise-record three defensive touchdowns the Baltimore Ravens acted like poor hosts for the return of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan to Baltimore, handing them a 34-17 beatdown of epic proportions. The two team combined for an NFL-record five return TD's while both offenses were lackluster at best.

The Ravens are now 3-1 and atop the AFC North, while the Jets fall to 2-2 and third place in the AFC East. While Baltimore has now scored 34 or more points in all three of their victories, the Jets have given up 34 points in consecutive losing weeks.

Linebacker Jameel McClain got the Ravens started with a short fumble return for the Ravens first defensive TD. Linebacker Jarret Johnson picked up another fumble from Jets QB Mark Sanchez and rumbled 26 yards for a touchdown and cornerback Lardarius Webb picked off Sanchez in full stride and literally jogged untouched 73 yards for the Ravens final TD. 

In between, there was a short Ray Rice TD run and two 38-yard field goals by placekicker Billy Cundiff to complete the Ravens scoring. On the other side of the field, the Jets scored on a 107-yard kickoff return, a 35-yard interception return on an awful Joe Flacco pass, as well as a 40-yard field goal.

Neither offense was anything to write home about, as the Ravens had over 160 yards in the first quarter and then didn't complete another pass under the fourth quarter and even then only had two completions in the final 15 minutes. However, as poor a game as Flacco had, he was only the second-worst QB on the field Sunday night as Jets QB Mark Sanchez was 11 of 35 for 119 yards, the one pick-six, but had four fumbles, losing three of them with two returned for defensive touchdown. At least Flacco was 10 of 31 for 163 yards and the one pick-six.

The Ravens ran 17 more offensive plays than the Jets and they also ran the ball twice as much as New York (40 attempts vs. 19 attempts). That translated into a time-of-possession advantage for the Ravens (37:28 to 22:32).

Despite the concern over the poor offensive performance, the Ravens gave credit to the Jets defense, although there was no question which defense was the better unit on the field at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday night. The Ravens enjoy the benefit of a well-earned rest s their Bye week is now, which will give their walking wounded a chance to heal and be ready for week 6 when they host the very dangerous AFC South-leading Houston Texans, 17-10 winners over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon.