An NFL record five return touchdowns helped make up for some of the ugliest quarterback play you’ll ever see as the Ravens beat the Jets 34-17 in Baltimore Sunday night.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a lousy game, going more than two full quarters between complete passes and checking in with a passer rating of 37.4 — and he was the better quarterback on the field Sunday night. The Jets’ Mark Sanchez had a passer rating of 30.5, and in an NFL season in which quarterbacks have been putting up video-game numbers, it was shocking to see two well-known quarterbacks play so badly.
But there was plenty of scoring, despite that terrible quarterback play — or, really, largely because of that terrible quarterback play.
It started with Ravens safety Ed Reed knocking the ball out of Sanchez’s hand and Jameel McClain picking up the fumble and running six yards for the game’s first score. On the ensuing kickoff, Joe McKnight raced 107 yards for the longest play in Jets history to even the score 7-7.
Baltimore’s Jarret Johnson later scored on a 26-yard fumble return to put the Ravens up 27-7, but New York’s David Harris got the Jets back into it with a 35-yard return of a Flacco interception.
The Jets failed to keep it interesting, however, as Sanchez telegraphed a pass to Santonio Holmes and Lardarius Webb stepped in front of it and ran 73 yards for a score.
Flacco and Sanchez both completed less than one-third of their passes, but someone had to win, and thanks to those three defensive touchdowns, it was the Ravens.