Defense delivers "spectacular" performance against Sanchez, Jets

I can't imagine how Mark Sanchez is going to feel when he rolls out of bed tomorrow morning.

The poor guy will probably be covered in bruises from head to toe after tonight's beatdown in Baltimore. Sanchez's offensive linemen should hire an entire massage team to help nurse him back to health.

The Ravens delivered shot after shot on the Jets quarterback tonight, sacking him twice, recording 10 quarterback hits (I'm convinced whoever keeps track of that stat fell asleep for about an hour and a half during the game, because there were more than 10 hits put on Sanchez), and forcing the third-year signal caller into four turnovers.

Three of those turnovers were returned for touchdowns, marking the first time in Ravens franchise history that the defense recorded three scores in a game.

"The most amazing defensive performance I thought I'd seen was the Pittsburgh game (Week 1) with the seven turnovers against that offense," head coach John Harbaugh said. "But this topped it. To have three returns for touchdowns off of turnovers by your defense ... that's pretty impressive to say the least. It was a team victory, but our defense carried us."

Baltimore's defense only allowed three points on the game, and held a talented Jets offense to just 150 total yards for the game.

Yes, 150 yards all game. That's the ninth-fewest allowed in franchise history.

The Ravens were able to keep wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress and tight end Dustin Keller in check by getting pressure on Sanchez early and often. It started on the Jets' first offensive play from scrimmage, when safety Ed Reed sacked Sanchez, causing a fumble which linebacker Jameel McClain returned six yards for a TD.

Haloti_Ngata-tall-hit-Jets.jpgLinebacker Jarret Johnson added a 26-yard return the next quarter, and cornerback Lardarius Webb continued the defensive fireworks with a 73-yard interception return for a score about five minutes into the second half. All three of those plays ended with Sanchez sprawled out on the turf, the recipient of another painful shot from a man dressed in all black.

"I think we wanted to get (Sanchez) to try and beat us in this game," said Ngata, who caused the third Sanchez fumble when he delivered a monster hit from the quarterback's blind side. "Once we knew they were going to start passing, we just pinned our ears back, and tried to get to him as fast as we could. I think we rattled him and got him off his mark, and we were able to make plays off of him."

"He hit the ground pretty quick a few times, and you could tell he was feeling the pressure, and that's our goal," Johnson added. "So when we see that, we're going to keep coming. He's a guy, you don't want to let him build a lot of confidence because No. 10 (Holmes) is a stud, No. 17 (Burress) - stud and No. 81 (Keller) is, too. So if he gets (connected) around those guys, he can hurt you. We just didn't want to let him build any momentum."

Despite the claims by members of the Ravens' defense to the alternative, Sanchez maintained that he didn't get rattled by the constant pressure in his face. I don't believe him, and his 31 percent completion percentage and four turnovers he gave up seem to support my thinking.

How impressive was the Ravens' overall defensive effort? It drew this quote from Jets coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who has seen his share of quality defensive performances turned in over the years: "I've been around football a long time and I've never seen anything like that before. The performance by their defense was spectacular."

Johnson was one of many Ravens players who were close with Ryan during his tenure in Baltimore. The veteran linebacker got in a few friendly words with his former coach after the game, and then got in one final shot when talking with reporters.

"He created us," Johnson said of Ryan, "now he has to deal with us."

Ryan and Sanchez, both.

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