The following comments are courtesy of the Baltimore Sun Staff from the Ravens 34-17 victory over the New York Jets. Two things stand out here: First, the Ravens defense overpowering the Jets; and second, Ravens QB Joe Flacco was not good yesterday.
Matt Vensel, Baltimore Sports Blitz: I’m still scratching my head at the offensive game plan, but hats off to the defense for smothering Mark Sanchez and the Jets.
Ron Fritz, Head of Sports: If the Ravens can just get Joe Flacco to stop throwing the ball and let the defense win games, the games would be over faster.
Ken Murray, reporter: Shades of 2000 … the Ravens are winning games once again by playing air-tight, suffocating defense, with takeaways by the bushel. The ability to make opposing teams one dimensional by taking away the run is a major factor in this resurgent defense. Haloti Ngata isn’t just the best defensive player in the NFL this year, he might be the best player period. The Ravens intimidated Mark Sanchez from the first play and kept it up all night. Rex Ryan’s dream of a Super Bowl died a grisly death on his old home turf.
Mike Preston, NFL columnist: In the first month of the season, the Ravens have blown out two of the AFC’s top teams. This is an impressive start.
Kevin Van Valkenburg, reporter: I sort of feel like I jumped in the Delorean with Marty McFly and went back in time to watch a game from 2003. Are we sure they played this one in M&T Bank Stadium and not PSI.net Stadium? The Ravens defense was dominant and the Ravens quaterback couldn’t complete a pass. I wouldn’t worry too much about Flacco, even though he’s been all over the map this year. He’s still making progress, even if it’s ugly at times. Instead the Ravens should focus on the big picture. They’re 3-1 headed into their bye week, their defense looks aggressive and fast despite some issues in the secondary, and their one loss this year might have been good for them. Not every quarterback they play against will be as awful as Mark Sanchez was Sunday night, but the Ravens forced a lot of those bad decisions, and then put the game away on the ground when it counted.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: In a sense, the Ravens defense did Rex Ryan proud with those three touchdown returns, and they couldn’t have come at a better time for a struggling Joe Flacco. Big win.
Chris Korman, Ravens editor: Ravens fans have every right to be euphoric about the team’s menacing defense and improving run game. But Joe Flacco’s inconsistency is worrisome, and it’s impossible to rely on another team making mistakes week after week. And while they go into their bye week with plenty to try to figure out, the Ravens also will rest next weekend knowing they’ve done as much as any team in the AFC to establish superiority at this early juncture.