Ravens hold 9-3 lead after defensive-minded first half


How bad have the offenses been in Baltimore on Sunday?

After their defense pinned the Jets with a 3rd and 12 with 90 seconds to play in the first half, the Ravens opted not to take either of their two timeouts and let the clock run out after forcing a punt on the next play. That left the Ravens with a 9-3 lead after a half of football that featured very little in the way of effective offensive football.

Joe Flacco connected with Torrey Smith for a 60-yard pass and the Jets continue to struggle when it comes to guarding tight ends, but the Ravens haven’t been able to do a thing once the end zone is in sight. Flacco has a pick on one trip into the red zone and the team has sputtered on their other three to set up Justin Tucker field goal. That’s led them to try a lot of experimenting with Tyrod Taylor, who has run read-option plays and thrown a pass in place of Baltimore’s $20-million starting quarterback in the first half.

Geno Smith doesn’t make that much and it’s hard to imagine he’s ever going to make that much after watching him struggle once again. Smith is 2-of-7 for 21 yards and the Jets have also tried to do anything they can to spark the offense by snapping the ball to different players. Josh Cribbs did hit Smith for a 13-yard gain, but that’s been about it on the positive side of the ledger. They also snapped the ball into wide receiver Greg Salas when Salas was in motion, forcing a fumble that cost a completely ineffective offense the ball.

The game’s there for the taking for the Jets, but it is hard to see them grabbing it if the defense or special teams doesn’t make the big play.