The Jets alternated wins and losses over their first 10 games of the 2013 season, but the streak came crashing to a halt in Baltimore on Sunday.
Geno Smith threw two interceptions, the Jets gained a paltry 228 yards (many coming when the outcome was no longer in doubt) and they lost a second straight game for the first time this season. The 19-3 loss drops the Jets to 5-6 on the season and amplifies the existing questions about Smith’s present and future as an NFL quarterback. Both of his interceptions came on jump balls once the Jets were already well behind, but that doesn’t excuse the rest of a scattershot day for a young quarterback who frequently looks like he’s trying to bite off more than he can chew.
That’s not to say it is all on his shoulders, because the Jets don’t protect him very well and they don’t have dynamic players creating something out of nothing at the skill positions. Smith has to be much better for the Jets to have any chance of winning, though, and that’s true regardless of who is on the field with him.
The Ravens defense added three sacks to the rest of their overwhelming effort, pushing Baltimore to a 5-6 record and improved footing in the widespread battle for the second Wild Card in the AFC. Joe Flacco had his ups and downs, finishing 17-of-26 for 273 yards with a touchdown and an interception on a windy day that saw the Ravens use backup Tyrod Taylor fairly often in a variety of roles. The deep ball worked well for Flacco as long as he wasn’t taking one of the four Jets sacks, but the Ravens run game went back into hibernation after returning last week against the Bears.
With so many teams hovering just under .500 in the AFC, it’s hard to forecast much about which flawed team will wind up in the postseason. There are worse calling cards than defending Super Bowl champions, though.