Ryan Fitzpatrick comes off bench to help Jets beat Ravens, 24-16

Geno Smith 2.0 sure didn’t last long.

Four days after Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted he didn’t know if he’d have another chance with the Jets (2-5), he helped deliver a come-from-behind 24-16 victory against the Ravens at MetLife Stadium Sunday.

Smith suffered a knee injury when he was sacked in the second quarter and was forced to come out of the game. Fitzpatrick, who was benched after leading the Jets to five losses in the team’s first six games, took over and played decently, well enough giving Gang Green a win they so badly needed.

Really the key was Matt Forte, who had over 150 total yards and two touchdowns, along with the defense, which rebounded after a brutal start to the season. Todd Bowles’ defense didn’t allow a touchdown all game.

Geno Smith hurt his knee during a sack in the second quarter.

Geno Smith hurt his knee during a sack in the second quarter.

(Bill Kostroun/AP)

Smith’s injury immediately thrusts uncertainty back into the Jets’ quarterback situation again.

Most likely, Sunday’s win will be too little, too late for the Jets, who started so slowly out of the gate that they virtually ended their own playoff chances before the mid-way point of the season.

Everyone expected turnovers from the Jets on Sunday with Geno Smith at quarterback. It turned out that the team’s first one didn’t come from Smith at all. After Gang Green’s first drive didn’t go far, the Jets set up for a routine punt from their own 29-yard line.

Matt Forte had a touchdown to go along with his 100-yard rushing afternoon.

Matt Forte had a touchdown to go along with his 100-yard rushing afternoon.

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

But they never got it off: because the ball sailed right through the fingertips of rookie punter Lachlan Edwards, and as players tried to recover it, the ball rolled all the way into the end zone where Ravens’ WR Chris Moore fell on it for a Baltimore touchdown. It was windy at MetLife, though it isn’t clear if that was a factor on the play.

Down 10-0 late in the first quarter, Smith and the Jets offense finally got a huge breakthrough, and it all came courtesy of Quincy Enunwa. The third-year wide receiver caught a little button-hook and then twisted away from the defender marking him and then sprinting past others all the way to the end zone for a 69-yard touchdown.

A Jets game wouldn’t be complete without a little quarterback drama, and that’s exactly what they got in the second quarter when Smith was sacked by Matthew Judon to an end a drive with his team losing 10-7. Smith hurt his right knee on the play, and headed to the trainer’s table where Gang Green’s medical team took a look at him while Fitzpatrick warmed up nearby. A few minutes later, Smith went in to the locker room and Fitzpatrick took over at QB on the next drive.

*** BESTPIX ***

Chris Moore recovered a blocked punt for a Ravens touchdown.

(Al Bello)

And on his first series back on the field, the veteran injected a little Fitzmagic into the offense. The QB led his team downfield on a seven-play, 85-yard drive that culminated in a middle screen pass to Matt Forte for a 13-yard touchdown that put the Jets ahead 14-13 with 1:45 left in the half.

The Ravens picked on the Jets secondary inside of two minutes, and managed to get into field goal range. Justin Tucker connected on a 43-yard field goal, his third of the half, to give Baltimore a 16-14 lead as time expired in the half.

The Jets ruled Smith out for the rest of the game at the start of the second half.

Midway through the third quarter, Buster Skrine started to redeem himself after his atrocious game a week prior, picking off Flacco on a pass intended for Breshad Perriman and returning the interception down to the Ravens’ three-yard line.

But the Jets couldn’t capitalize on the turnover after a pair of failed runs, a delay of game penalty and an incompletion to Enunwa meant Gang Green had to settle for a short field goal that put them ahead 17-16 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

Less than a minute later, Flacco handed the Jets another gift, when he overthrew his receiver and floated a ball right into the arms of Marcus Gilchrist, who picked it off and returned the ball 25 yards to the Ravens’ 24-yard line. The Jets nearly blew the opportunity, as Matt Forte fumbled the ball and Baltimore recovered at the Ravens’ six-yard line on 3rd-and-goal. But after Timmy Jernigan scooped up the fumble he lost the ball himself, and the Jets recovered, earning a first down in the process.

A few plays later Forte made up for his error, rushing in a one-yard score to put the Jets up 24-16 with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.

With just over three minutes left in the contest, Nick Folk set up to try a 51-yard field goal attempt to seal the victory. But the Jets’ special teams unit had its second big problem of the day, as Folk’s kick was blocked, keeping the Ravens in the game. But Flacco, who played poorly on Sunday, couldn’t take advantage, and the Jets were able to close out the win.

Tags:
nfl
new york jets
geno smith
ryan fitzpatrick
sports injuries
baltimore ravens

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