Reeling Ravens limp into bye after 4th straight loss
- Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced an injured Geno Smith and led the New York Jets on three scoring drives.
- A rejuvenated Jets defense came up with two rare interceptions.
- Quarterback Joe Flacco started for Baltimore after being questionable with a sore shoulder.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The banged-up Baltimore Ravens are limping into their bye week, while the New York Jets’ quarterback situation is still in flux.
Both teams came out of a 24-16 victory by the Jets on Sunday with questions and health concerns.
Joe Flacco started for Baltimore after being questionable with a sore shoulder , but threw two interceptions after setting a team record with 176 passes in a row without one.
“The fact we have a bye week this week, hopefully I can get over it,” Flacco said.
Flacco isn’t the only one. The Ravens (3-4) have lost four straight and have a lengthy list of injured players who need a chance to heal before Baltimore plays again Nov. 6 at home against division-rival Pittsburgh.
Linebackers Terrell Suggs (biceps), Elvis Dumervil (foot), C.J. Mosley (thigh), wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle), cornerback Shareece Wright (thigh), guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot) all sat out against the Jets.
Safety Lardarius Webb left the game with a right hamstring injury, and rookie cornerback Tavon Young was evaluated for a concussion.
“That’s just another question that’s impossible to answer because you can’t put a measuring stick on how hurtful it is, but it’s not ideal,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We also had to make some roster moves just to get 46 guys active. But that’s the way it works in our league. That’s the cards that we’ve been dealt.”
Meanwhile, the Jets (2-5) ended a four-game losing streak with Geno Smith starting and then getting hurt and being replaced by former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Smith injured his right knee while taking a sack from Baltimore’s Matthew Judon in the second quarter and was scheduled to have an MRI to determine the severity and if he needs to be sidelined.
“I don’t feel like it hurts a ton,” said Smith, who spent the second half on the sideline wearing sweats. “Honestly, I was begging to go back out there, but I understand they’re doing their jobs.”
Fitzpatrick had thrown an NFL-leading 11 interceptions through the first six games before Todd Bowles benched him in favor of Smith during the week.
“It’s too early to tell,” Bowles said of who his QB will be next week at Cleveland. “I want to see what the injury status is before I make that determination.”
Here are some other things to know from the Jets’ skid-stopping victory over the Ravens:
Big-play defense: The Jets came in ranked tied for 31st in the NFL with just four takeaways . Against the Ravens, the defense came up big.
Flacco went a team-record 176 consecutive throws without an interception before Buster Skrine picked off his pass in the third quarter and returned it 51 yards to the Ravens 3 to set up a field goal by Nick Folk.
The defense made it two possessions in a row with a takeaway as Marcus Gilchrist picked off Flacco and returned it 27 yards to the Ravens 24, setting up a 1-yard TD run by Matt Forte.
“We were one of the top defenses in the league last year,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “Once one (turnover) comes, they start coming in bunches. That’s what happened today.”
Still in the chase: Even a four-game losing streak hasn’t knocked Baltimore out of contention in the AFC North. The Ravens haven’t played Pittsburgh or Cincinnati yet this season, so that’s four chances to improve their situation in the division.
“The biggest thing, we are not too far from the other teams in our conference and division,” defensive tackle Brandon Williams said.
Forte flashes: After being held to 164 yards rushing and no TDs in the last four games, Forte busted out with a vintage performance.
He finished with 100 yards and a score on 30 carries and four catches for 54 yards and a TD. He also joined Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Thurman Thomas and Herschel Walker as the only players with 8,000 yards rushing, 4,000 yards receiving and 20 TD receptions.
Running on empty: A week after New York gave up 171 yards rushing, including 111 to Arizona’s David Johnson last Monday night, Baltimore found nowhere to run against the Jets.
Terrance West, who came in having rushed for 295 yards in his last three games, finished with 10 yards on eight carries as the Jets set a franchise mark by holding Baltimore to 6 yards on the ground.
Can't finish: Baltimore took an early lead for the third straight game and couldn’t finish off an opponent.
The Ravens led the Jets 10-0 in the first quarter of this one. They had the same lead against the Giants last week , and led Washington 10-6 two weeks ago.
“Killer instinct is executing when you get ahead, putting people away and making plays, taking advantage of the fact they’re down,” Harbaugh said. “Whatever killer instinct translates to, we certainly don’t have it now.”