At First Glance: Ravens vs. Jets writers give their first impressions of the Ravens’ 34-17 victory.

Posted by on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, At First Glance, Mike Duffy, Ryan Mink, Sarah Ellison, Week 4 vs Jets

John Eisenberg: No one would call that a pretty game. Both offenses struggled badly on a cool, damp night. But the Jets’ offense had a much rougher time because the Ravens’ defensive pressure forced Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez into crucial mistakes – a lot of them. Two of his fumbles were returned for touchdowns, and Lardarius Webb intercepted one of his passes and ran it back for six. Although Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense also struggled after a strong start, the Ravens had plenty of cushion thanks to their high-pressure, play-making defense. Score one for Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano, who designed the scheme that knocked out the Jets.

Mike Duffy: Talk about a game of oddities.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if we saw a safety and an onside kick in the Ravens’ 34-17 win over the New York Jets.  Both teams combined for an NFL-record five returns for touchdowns, as the Ravens and the Jets were very opportunistic.  Baltimore’s offense had some trouble getting things going, so the defense stepped up with a dominating performance. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez only got sacked twice, but he was consistently harassed all night behind a beaten-up offensive line.  And when the Ravens needed to grind out some tough yardage and take time off the clock, they reverted to a ground-and-pound rushing attack that saw them run off 10-consecutive running plays in the third quarter to keep Sanchez off the field. The Ravens were the tougher team tonight.

Ryan Mink: In the battle of defenses, the Ravens’ destructive unit claimed a decisive victory. Baltimore’s defensive was causing all kinds of chaos in M&T Bank Stadium in front of its old coordinator, Rex Ryan. Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs were just too much up front, helping out a banged-up secondary that stood tall behind the rush. The lull of the Ravens’ passing offense was a bit troubling, and made this game closer than it really was, but the mauling offensive line ground-and-pounded the Jets. In the end, the Ravens get to savor their 3-1 record, first-place AFC North standing, and pair of wins over the conference’s top contenders while healing their many injuries during the bye. Things are looking up in Baltimore, for sure.

Sarah Ellison: Just like last year’s season-opening clash between these two teams, Sunday night will be remembered for its defensive battle. Only this time, the defenses combined to score an eye-popping 28 points. With three Baltimore defensive touchdowns – the most in franchise history – it became more exciting to watch the Ravens’ defense, decked-out in all black, licking their chops each time wounded quarterback Mark Sanchez walked onto the field. Those 21 points came in handy too. Joe Flacco’s unit coughed up the ball three times. Add in the Jets’ 107-yard kickoff return, and New York made this seem closer than it really was. All in all, the Ravens tack on another win to go into the bye with a 3-1 record, good enough to lead the AFC North a quarter of the way through the season.

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