Jameel McClain on beating his former coach Rex Ryan
The Ravens relied heavily on their defense Sunday against the Jets. It was probably the team's best overall performance on that side of the ball all season long and a big reason they came away with a 19-3 victory at M&T Bank Stadium in a crucial contest.
They finished with three sacks and held the Jets to 220 yards of total offense, tops for the Ravens on defense this season. New York also converted just one of 12 third-down chances and had problems moving the ball. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith started again, and the defense made life especially miserable for him as Daryl Smith, Pernell McPhee and Elvis Dumervil each finished with a sack as the Ravens seemed to be hitting him all day long.
"He was really elusive, but we just kept going after him," Dumervil said. "Give credit to our secondary for allowing us the time to get back there and make the plays."
Smith clearly had problems throughout the game against the aggressive defense. The Jets tried to shake up the Ravens by putting Josh Cribbs in and snapping the ball to him in the Wildcat on several plays -- he ran five times and actually passed twice -- but Baltimore did an especially good job of controlling him and Smith.
Smith finished by completing just nine of 22 for 127 yards and two interceptions. He either didn't have time to throw or couldn't get the ball where he needed to as the Ravens swarmed all over the field.
"He's had better days," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We knew coming here that it was going to be a tough game. It wasn't like you're playing the little sisters of the poor over there, and we knew that."
The two interceptions, both by Corey Graham, proved costly. Graham's first pick came later in the third quarter on a long pass deep down the right sideline. He got in good position and caught the slightly underthrown ball at the Baltimore 12-yard line on a third-and-17 from the Ravens' 42.
Graham's second interception came in the end zone with 4;15 left in the game and pretty much sealed the deal.
"They made good plays on both of them," Smith said. "I threw the ball up there, and they made plays."