BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have a week off to savor their latest win over Rex Ryan.
Ryan, on the other hand, can’t lament this defeat for long because he and the New York Jets have got another grudge match coming up.
Baltimore scored three touchdowns off turnovers by Mark Sanchez in a 34-17 victory Sunday night. The win was the perfect way to end the first quarter of the season and head into a bye week.
“We’re going to watch the tape, note the mistakes, get better and get prepared for the next game,” safety Ed Reed said.
Baltimore’s three scores on defense were the most in franchise history. Jameel McClain took a fumble by Sanchez 6 yards for a touchdown on New York’s first offensive play, Jarret Johnson scored on a 26-yard fumble return and Lardarius Webb put the Ravens up by 17 points in the third quarter by taking an interception 73 yards into the end zone.
The Ravens (3-1) held the Jets (2-2) to 150 yards and seven first downs in taking over sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
“The best defensive effort I thought I had ever seen or the most amazing defensive performance I thought I’d ever seen was the Pittsburgh game with seven turnovers,” coach John Harbaugh said, referring to Baltimore’s season-opening 35-7 rout. “But this topped it. That’s pretty impressive, to say the least.”
What made it even better was that it came against Ryan, who served 10 years with the Ravens until taking the Jets job before the 2009 season.
“He created this and now he has to deal with us,” Johnson said. “It was fun.”
Not so for Ryan.
“I’ve been around football a long time and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Ryan said. “The performance by their defense was spectacular. They were coming after us. That’s a Ravens defense. It reminded me of the 2000 and 2006 defenses.”
Next up for the Jets: A trip to New England for a game against the Patriots.
A week ago, New York gave up 234 yards rushing in a loss to the Oakland Raiders. This defeat can be attributed to Sanchez, who threw an interception and fumbled four times, losing three. He went 11 for 35 for 119 yards, and the only score he produced was a field goal by Nick Folk after a 25-yard drive.
“He struggled mightily, there’s no question about it,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t his best day, that’s for sure, but he’s our quarterback and I believe in him.”
New York has lost seven straight to the Ravens, the last two with Ryan on the Jets sideline. New York’s touchdowns came on a 107-yard kickoff return by Joe McKnight and a 35-yard interception return by David Harris.
The Ravens got 17 points off three fumbles by Sanchez to take a 27-7 lead in the second quarter, and although the Jets cut the gap to 10, they were unable to complete the comeback.
“We all had our share in this loss,” Sanchez said. “I’m fine pointing out my mistakes; as far as my mistakes, I’ll take the blame for it.”
The Jets came out trying to pass. In hindsight, it might not have been a good idea.
“The passing game early in the season has been doing pretty well,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “We’re a run first team and without that, we can’t do what we want to do. So we have to correct that.”
Plaxico Burress, who had three catches for 33 yards, said,”We’ll be fine. I’ve been through this before, where you lose a couple games in a row. We’ll come out Wednesday focused on winning in New England.”
Down 27-17, New York got the ball on the Baltimore 27 after Joe Flacco fumbled when Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin picked up his first career sack.
On the next play, Webb picked off a pass by Sanchez intended for Santonio Holmes on the right sideline and sprinted into the end zone with 8:49 left in the third quarter.
“There is no need to panic right now,” Burress said. “There is too much football left.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)