Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fitzpatrick solid in relief in Jets' 24-16 win over Ravens

Fitz Magic returned afterGeno Smith's sequel ended early, and the New York Jets got their first victory in over a month.
Fitzpatrick replaced an injured Smith and led the Jets on three scoring drives, and a rejuvenated defense came up with two rare interceptions in a 24-16 comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday that snapped a four-game skid.
"It's a pretty ironic situation," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick came in for Smith, starting for the first time since 2014, in the second quarter and led the Jets on a go-ahead drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown catch by Matt Forte. Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 14 for 120 yards and a touchdown for the Jets (2-5), whose last win came at Buffalo on Sept. 15.
"It's about damn time," safety Calvin Pryor said.
Smith injured his right knee while taking a sack from Baltimore's Matthew Judon and will have an MRI to determine if he needs to be sidelined. Center Nick Mangold (knee) and linebacker Bruce Carter (hamstring) were also injured.
Fitzpatrick was efficient after losing his job earlier in the week. Coach Todd Bowles decided to start Smith over Fitzpatrick , who had thrown an NFL-leading 11 interceptions and just five touchdown passes. Smith was 4 of 8 for 95 yards and a TD to Quincy Enunwa.
Justin Tucker put the Ravens (3-4) back up 16-14 as time expired in the first half with his third field goal, a 44-yarder.
Joe Flacco started for Baltimore after being questionable with a sore shoulder . He 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.
But the Jets faltered and had to settle for Nick Folk's 22-yard field goal and a 17-16 lead.
The defense made it two possessions in a row with a takeaway - after coming in with just four all season - asMarcus Gilchrist picked off Flacco and returned it 27 yards to the Ravens 24.
This time, the Jets cashed in, but not before some hot potato with the football.
On second-and-goal from the 6, Forte ran up the middle for 3 yards and had the ball ripped out of his hands.Timmy Jernigan recovered for Baltimore and tried to advance, but Brandon Marshall stripped the ball and recovered it for the Jets.
"At the end of the day, coach says the best thing for me to do was to fall on the ball," Jernigan said. "From now on, I'm going to fall on the ball."
Three plays later, Forte ran it in from 1 yard.
Forte finished with 100 yards and a TD on 30 carries and four catches for 54 yards and a score. 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. With 3:04 left, Folk had a chance to seal the victory, but his 51-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Brandon Williams.
Again, the Jets' defense came up big, with Marcus Williams knocking away Flacco's desperation heave as the Ravens dropped their fourth straight - and second in a row at MetLife Stadium after losing 27-23 to the Giants last week .
Flacco was 25 of 44 for 248 yards and the two interceptions.
"Right now, it's us versus ourselves," Brandon Williams said. "We've got to look within ourselves and look at each other and fix the stupid stuff."
SMITH'S QUICK START
Enunwa motored down the left sideline and outran two Ravens for a 69-yard touchdown in the first quarter. An excited Smith ran all the way down the field to celebrate with Enunwa as fireworks went off at MetLife Stadium.
It was Smith's first touchdown pass since Week 8 of last season at Oakland, when he stepped in for an injured Fitzpatrick. It was also Smith's first start since the 2014 season finale at Miami.
WHOOPS
Baltimore took a 7-0 lead when rookie Lachlan Edwards, punting on the Jets' first offensive series, had the snap go through his hands. Edwards couldn't corral the football as Moore recovered and ran it in for 2 yards.
TOUGH SLEDDING
After giving up 171 yards rushing, including 111 to David Johnson, at Arizona, the Jets held Baltimore to a franchise-low 6 yards on the ground.
Terrance West, who came in having rushed for 295 yards in his last three games, finished with 10 yards on eight carries.
BANGED-UP RAVENS
The Ravens had several starters sitting out: 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).
BYRD HONORED
The Jets honored the late Dennis Byrd with a pregame video tribute after he was killed last weekend in a car accident in Oklahoma.
Byrd was an inspiration to many after he overcame brief paralysis and walked again just a few months after injuring his neck during a play in 1992. The defensive lineman, who played for the Jets for four seasons, died in a two-vehicle collision last Saturday. He was 50.

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