What stands out from Sunday: defense or offense?

October 03, 2011|By Matt Vensel

There are two ways to look at Sunday night's win over the Jets, depending on which side of the bed you woke up on. The Baltimore defense was beastly, forcing four turnovers and cashing in three for touchdowns, a franchise record. But the Ravens offense struggled mightily against Rex Ryan's defense in the 34-17 win.

The margin of victory was a little surprising, but a defense-dominated game was expected with Rex returning to Baltimore for his first regular season game as a visitor and Chuck Pagano matching him blitz for blitz.

"The performance by their defense was spectacular," Ryan said afterward. "They were coming after us. That's that Raven defense. It reminded me of the 2000 and 2006 defenses. ... We just got it handed to us."

When you played Monday morning quarterback at the communal coffee pot -- I have had about a gallon of it after a long night at M&T Bank Stadium -- or whatever you do to interact with your coworkers if you’re not a cubicle drone like me, what was the focus of the conversation? Was it the Baltimore defense harassing New York quarterback Mark Sanchez all night, or was it Joe Flacco bouncing balls off the turf?

Flacco completed 10 of 31 passes for 163 yards and a passer rating of 37.4 -- and he still outperformed Sanchez. His buddies in the defensive huddle bailed him out with three fumble recoveries and an interception, all courtesy of the Sanchize.

"Our defense obviously came up big today," Flacco said. "It wasn't too pretty, but anytime you get a win in the NFL, it's a good one, especially when you are playing a good team like that."

And the talented Jets defense came to play Sunday night. The Ravens averaged 2.8 yards per carry, were 6-for-18 on third down and finished with 267 yards of total offense on 73 plays from scrimmage.

Your turn: What stands out about Sunday’s win -- the defense’s performance or the offense’s struggles?

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