Ravens rattle Smith, roll over Jets 19-3

Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- They scored only one touchdown, settled for field goals and never could run the ball with success, but the Baltimore Ravens had more than enough offense to defeat Geno Smith and the New York Jets.
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones' first 100-yard receiving game with the Ravens included a 66-yard touchdown and Justin Tucker kicked four field goals as Baltimore handed the Jets a 19-3 loss on Sunday afternoon.
Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 17 of 26 passes for 273 yards with one interception and the long toss to Jones for the Ravens (5-6), winners of eight straight over the Jets (5-6). Jones caught four passes for 103 yards.
Cornerback Corey Graham had two interceptions to lead a Ravens defense that held the Jets to 220 yards. Three of Tucker's field goals came in the first half and Baltimore scored the final 19 points.
"This was a big one. We looked at it as a playoff game," Ravens safety James Ihedigbo said.
The defending Super Bowl champions had lost four of five games. The Ravens are two games behind the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals and tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Baltimore hosts Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night.
"For us to go where we want to, we had to have this win at home," Ihedigbo continued. "It was more than a want. It was a need."
The Jets once again were left wanting offensively. Smith labored throughout the 11th game of his rookie season and one of his interceptions came in the end zone. With winds gusting to 40 miles per hour and temperatures in the low 30s, Smith had only two completions in the first half. He finished 9 of 22 for 127 yards and two interceptions.
"We knew that quite honestly, their defense was going to be tough sledding, there was no doubt," said Jets coach Rex Ryan, who cited minimal third down success as the primary culprit. "With that, we've got to be more efficient on third down. We were 1 of 12 on third down. That's the big reason obviously for the struggles."
The Jets trailed 12-3 when they ventured into Baltimore territory for only the second time in the game late in the third quarter. The drive ended as Graham picked off Smith for the first time.
Three plays, Flacco exploited the Jets chronic issue of allowing big plays in the passing game. Flacco found a streaking Jones, who split two defenders down the middle of the field for the game's lone touchdown.
"It was probably the play of the game for us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought once [the ball] got up in the air and the wind got it, I didn't think Jacoby was going to be able to get it. He shifted into another gear."
Ryan had no explanation for the defensive breakdown.
"The deep ball. ... that one was kind of 'Ripley's Believe it or Not,'" Ryan said. "It's been our Achilles heel giving up the deep ball."
Running back Ray Rice rushed 16 times for 30 yards against the Jets top-ranked run defense, but both teams liberally used the "Wildcat" formation.
Baltimore's utilization of backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor appeared strategic. New York limiting Smth's plays behind center seemed necessary.
The rookie entered without a touchdown pass in three straight games and just eight completions in each of his past two starts.
Smith hauled in an 18-yard reception from wide receiver Josh Cribbs before attempting his first throw on the Jets eighth play from scrimmage. Nick Folk capped New York's second drive with a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 midway through the first quarter. The Jets never scored again.
"You can only do that for so long," Ihedigbo said off the Jets attempted trickery. "Eventually you're going to have to line up and play football. We just played disciplined style football and then made plays when we had the opportunity."
Baltimore countered with Tucker field goals on its next two possessions. Tied 3-3 in the second quarter, Torrey Smith caught a 60-yard pass, setting up Tucker's second field goal from 26 yards.
Tucker booted a 33-yard field goal later in the quarter as Baltimore led 9-3 at halftime. He made a 52-yarder early in the third, his 22nd consecutive field goal.
Notes: Jets QB Geno Smith has one touchdown pass and 10 interceptions in his last six games. ... Jets S Ed Reed played his second game in Baltimore against his former team this season. The ex-Raven faced Baltimore in Week 3 with the Houston Texans, who released the former Pro Bowl safety after seven games. ... DT Haloti Ngata (knee) and WR Marlon Brown were active for the Ravens after sitting out Week 11 in Chicago. ... Baltimore is 8-1 all-time against the Jets.

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