Ravens defense downs Jets with three TDs
Oct 2, 2011, 10:23 p.m.
By Steve Ginsburg
BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The Baltimore Ravens steamrolled the New York Jets 34-17 on Sunday on the back of three touchdowns from their defense to seize control of the AFC North and make it an uncomfortable night for former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
The Ravens' defense set a new franchise record with the scores and limited Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to just 11 of 35 passing for 119 yards, one interception and four fumbles, three of them lost.
On an unseasonably chilly night in Baltimore, the Ravens (3-1) took sole possession of the division lead following losses earlier on Sunday by Pittsburgh (2-2) and Cleveland (2-2).
New York, conference finalists for the past two years, fell to 2-2 and are a game behind the surprising Buffalo Bills and New England in the AFC East.
Ryan, Baltimore's former defensive coordinator who became the Jets' head coach in 2009, openly discussed his desire to exact revenge on the Ravens after they passed him over for their head coaching job in favor of John Harbaugh.
The Ravens have defeated the Jets seven consecutive times, including a 10-9 season-opening triumph last year. New York have not beaten Baltimore since a 19-16 overtime victory in 1997.
Ravens linebackers Jameel McClain and Jarret Johnson returned Sanchez fumbles for touchdowns, while cornerback Ladarius Webb picked off a Sanchez pass and raced 73 yards into the end zone to give Baltimore a 34-17 third-quarter lead.
New York had trouble driving on the Baltimore defense all night.
Their two touchdowns came on a 107-yard kickoff return by Joe McKnight -- the Jets' longest recorded score -- and linebacker David Harris's 35-yard scamper to the end zone following another fumble by Sanchez. (Editing by Peter Rutherford; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)