BALTIMORE — Rex Ryan had seen it many times before: The Baltimore Ravens didn’t do much on offense, yet it hardly mattered because their defense was so sharp.
That’s how the Ravens won when Ryan was their defensive coordinator from 2005-08, and that is precisely the formula Baltimore used to beat Ryan’s New York Jets on Sunday.
Joe Flacco threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, Justin Tucker kicked four field goals and the Ravens shut down the Jets’ sputtering offense in a 19-3 victory.
The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (5-6) had lost four of five before bouncing back to beat New York (5-6) and keep their playoff hopes alive. Jones had four catches for 103 yards and returned five punts for 108 yards.
But Baltimore won on the strength of its defense. The unit forced three turnovers, limited the Jets to 220 yards and denied 11 of 12 third-down tries. Rookie Geno Smith completed nine of 22 passes for 127 yards and two interceptions, both by Corey Graham.
“What can you say about our defense?” coach John Harbaugh said. “It was a dominant defensive performance.”
It was the fewest points allowed by Baltimore since December 2009, a 48-3 win over Detroit.
“I feel like we were dialed in today,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “There’s always a little something added when we’re playing Rex. We’re proud of the fact what we didn’t give up a touchdown, and getting off the field on third down was huge.”
New York had alternated wins and losses in its first 10 games, but the pattern ended here with its second straight defeat. Ryan, who also served as defensive line coach with Baltimore from 1999-2004, fell to 0-3 against his former team.
“We knew, quite honestly, that their defense was going to be tough sledding,” Ryan said. “With that, we’ve got to be more efficient on third down. That’s a big reason (for) the struggles. I thought we dropped too many balls, and that’s where it started offensively. On defense, when you’re playing in a game like that, you got to be sound, you got to be good and it has to be for 60 minutes.
“There’s probably three or four plays that we weren’t in.”
The Ravens tried several ploys to spice up their stagnant offense, most notably using backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in a variety of formations. Not only did Taylor receive a direct snap and run, but he also handed off the ball and caught a pass in his most extensive action of the season.
None of it produced a touchdown, though, until Jones got behind former teammate Ed Reed and made a fine catch of Flacco’s deep throw before coasting into the end zone for a 19-3 lead with 5 seconds left in the third quarter.
That was more than enough to dispose of the Jets, whose offense was so out of sync that they burned their third timeout of the second half with 14:53 left in the fourth quarter.
Over his last six games, Smith has thrown 10 interceptions and one touchdown pass.
“This is not on one individual,” Ryan said. “This is on us, collectively.”
- Local Sports
Orioles fall to Angels in 13 innings, 1-0
Albert Pujols put Los Angeles in front with an RBI single, and the Angels held on for a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles that averted a three-game sweep.
Post 13 eliminated, 5-4
Funkstown Post 211 used a three-run first inning and a pair of single-run innings, and limited the damage on Fort Cumberland Post 13’s 11 hits to notch a 5-4 victory to advance and eliminate the tournament host Thursday in the third round of the Maryland American Legion State Baseball Tournament at Hamilton Field.
Hold on a minute ... we know these guys
Tom Bosley says this isn’t the Garrett County revival of “Space Cowboys”. They’re just getting the band back together — Bosley, Don Stemple, Oren Yoder and Matt Redinger. They’ve been there, done that, and they’re ready, willing and able to be there and do it again.
Pee Wee football openings exist
The following teams of the Tri-State Pee Wee Football League have openings for players, ages 6 and not yet 12: Cumberland Cardinals, contact Norm Spencer, 301-697-0420; Cumberland Raiders, contact Chad Hamilton, 240-362-1800; Cresaptown Eagles, contact Dave Freeman, 240-727-0302; LaVale Lions, contact Ken Ward, 301-616-4773, and Ridgeley Hawks, contact Grant Shoemaker, 301-697-7657.
Players interested in playing for the Cardinals should report to Bowers Field Monday, Aug. 4, 6 p.m.
- Sports Calendar - 08/01/2014
Manziel battling playbook, Hoyer in first NFL camp
Johnny Manziel has quickly learned his college days — on the field anyway — are over.
Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon
Caroline Wozniacki always feels confident she can outrun her opponent on the tennis court.
Ridgeley, Lakeview advance to finals
POTOMAC PARK — Blake Rhodes doubled and singled twice while Wyatt Yates and Caleb Hare singled three times to power Ridgeley to a 14-4 victory over the Cumberland Kiwanis for a sweep of the Hot Stove League’s National League Championship Series Wednesday at Hamilton Field.
Laurel tops defending champs
POTOMAC PARK — Falan Garner had three hits and chased home a pair of runs and Laurel held of a furious ninth-inning rally by Funkstown to beat the defending state champs 9-8 Wednesday afternoon at the Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Memorial Field.
- Sports Calendar - 07/31
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Orioles fall to Angels in 13 innings, 1-0