What we learned during Baltimore’s 34-17 dismantling of the Jets on Sunday night.
1. So much for it being a “passing league.” Joe Flacco didn’t complete a pass for 35 minutes of game action. He finished 10-of-31 for 163 yards and a pick and he was the far better quarterback Sunday night. It didn’t matter because the Ravens defense absolutely mauled the Jets.
2. The final score says 34-17. It could also say: Ravens defense 21, Ravens offense 13, Jets special teams 7, Jets defense 7, Jets offense 3. If points were given on style, Mark Sanchez would be awarded -3,425 points.
3. The main difference between Flacco and Sanchez on Sunday? Protection. The Jets’ most valuable offensive player may be Nick Mangold. New York’s line has crumbled without him. Sanchez fumbled four times, losing three of them. He averaged 3.2 yards-per-pass. The Jets had 38 rushing yards. They had no answers.
4. “I’ve been around football a long time. I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Rex Ryan said after the game.
There’s a reason for that. There were five return touchdowns (3 by the Ravens defense, 1 by the Jets defense, 1 by Jets kick returner Joe McKnight.) That’s an NFL record. There was only one offensive touchdown.
5. It’s a bad sign when the the Ravens’ official team site starts talking trash. “Mark Sanchez was literally ducking as he was throwing that last pass. He had Haloti Ngata bearing down on him,” the team’s twitter account read at one point.
6. We keep hearing that the Jets should return to their ground and pound philosophy, but can they pull it off? Shonn Greene is ordinary. The offensive line is struggling. This is a team that could badly use a dynamic back like Ray Rice. The Jets don’t have anyone that can make people miss.
7. Plaxico Burress has six catches for 88 yards in the last three games combined.
8. The Ravens have the AFC North lead at 3-1. It’s early, but they look like the most complete team in the conference.
9. The Jets will be 2-3 and two games back in the division unless they can win in Foxborough next week. It’s not a bad matchup for Gang Green. The Patriots have one of the worst pass rushes in football. They may not be able to fully exploit the Jets’ line.