Rapid Reaction: Baltimore Ravens
November, 24, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
BALTIMORE -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 19-3 win over the New York Jets.
What it means: On a cold and blustery afternoon, the Ravens (5-6) stayed alive in the AFC playoff race with their eighth straight win over the Jets. Baltimore cut the gap with the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) to two games and remain in the thick of the wild-card picture. The Ravens improved to 10-1 at home in November since 2008, the second-best mark in the NFL.
Stock watch: Rising: Justin Tucker. The kicker supplied the Ravens' first 12 points with four field goals from 30, 26, 33 and 53 yards. He's becoming the Ravens' most valuable player this season, hitting 22 consecutive field goals in some windy and bad-weather games.
Dominating defense: The Ravens were relentless against struggling rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Baltimore held the Jets out of the end zone, shut them out for the final 51 minutes and forced three turnovers (cornerback Corey Graham's two interceptions tied a career high). The Ravens silenced the New York offense, limiting the Jets to 220 total yards, 12 first downs and a 1-of-12 conversion rate on third down.
Return of the deep pass: Joe Flacco rediscovered his touch on the downfield passes, and his 66-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones late in the third quarter essentially put away the Jets. It was Flacco's first touchdown this season on a pass that traveled at least 20 yards in the air, and it was completed right in front of former Ravens safety Ed Reed. Flacco also had a 60-yard pass to Torrey Smith earlier in the game.
What's next: The Ravens play the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving night. Baltimore has lost two of its last three games to Pittsburgh at M&T Bank Stadium.