The Baltimore Ravens are a desperate football team after dropping three straight games following a great start to 2016.
The New York Jets are similarly hurting and as a result, their Sunday matchup featured a change for them at the quarterback position.
Geno Smith started the game and had trouble moving the ball at first, leading to punter Lachlan Edwards featuring heavily early on. This of course led to the first touchdown of the game, a mishandled snap from Edwards that was scooped up and put in the end zone by rookie receiver Chris Moore.
Later on, Justin Tucker tacked on a field goal to make it 10-0, but the Jets answered right back with a 69 yard catch and run touchdown from Quincy Enunwa. It was Smith’s first touchdown pass of the season, but he didn't have much time to celebrate it after he hurt his knee when getting sacked by Ravens rookie linebacker Matt Judon.
Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game and promptly drove the Jets down the field and punched it into the end zone through Matt Forte to make it 14-13 at the two minute warning. The Ravens weren't ready to pack it in however, as a long catch by Kamar Aiken sparked the offense into a scoring drive that gave them three points heading into the half, making it 16-14.
The second half was rough for the Ravens, who couldn't get anything going on offense, and looked lost on defense. A short field goal and a rushing touchdown from Forte made it 24-16 in the fourth quarter, courtesy of Joe Flacco’s careless play and the score remained that way for most of the game.
The Jets had a chance to ice the game late on a 51 yard field goal attempt from Nick Folk, but the swat team came through in the clutch again, with Brandon Williams blocking it this time. However, the embarrassing and anemic Ravens offense once again blew a golden opportunity to drive down the field and tie it up after a poor sequence of play in the closing moments.
The Ravens now sit at 3-4 after the first ever four game losing streak under John Harbaugh. They head into their bye week hoping to get healthy, but with a murderer’s row of teams facing them in the second half of the season, it’s fair to wonder if this loss was the death knell for this team’playoff chances.
- Rookie linebacker Matt Judon was a bright spot in an otherwise very tough game. He racked up two individual sacks in a game where the pass rush seemed to finally show some consistency.
- The performance from the Ravens offense is comical at this point. They couldn’t run the ball if their lives depended on it and their passing game was almost nonexistent as well. This tweet from WNST’s Luke Jones sums it up perfectly:
The #Ravens ran 27 plays for 42 yards in the second half. Embarrassing.— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) October 23, 2016
- The offensive line without Ronnie Stanley and Marshal Yanda would be better served to strain spaghetti than protect Joe Flacco at this point, but the quarterback missed his fair share of throws and just doesn't seem to have any confidence in his receivers right now.
- Mike Wallace quietly had a big day but the receiving corps as a whole just seems lifeless without Steve Smith in the lineup. His return will be crucial heading into the second half of the year.
- John Harbaugh has a very tough situation on his hands right now, and if the team can't get anything going coming off of a bye at home, then it's probably fair to question whether or not his typically ice cold seat is starting to warm up a bit.