When you scan the stat sheet after tonight's 10-9 Ravens win, one large disparity jumps out.
I won't actually make you scan the stat sheet to find that disparity. I'll pass it along to you myself. That's just the kind of guy I am.
Here it is: On third downs, the Ravens were able to move the chains 11-of-19 times. That's 58 percent.
The Jets, on the other hand, didn't get their first third down conversion until their final drive of the game. Mark Sanchez and company went just 1-of-11 on third downs. That's nine percent for you number geeks out there.
"They won the important downs, [especially] third down," said Jets coach Rex Ryan, who then rattled off the numbers I listed above. "That stat alone gets you beat."
Offensively, the Ravens didn't put up huge numbers on the day (the 10 points shows that), but they moved the chains, ate up clock, and twice put together drives of over 75 yards.
Defensively, they made a big statement early in the first quarter when Joe Flacco fumbled deep in Baltimore territory, and didn't allow the Jets to pick up a first down or reach the end zone.
"The defense got put in some really tough situations," head coach John Harbaugh said. "They were backed up a number of times in the first half, and they were backed up in the second half pretty much the whole half. To not give up a touchdown in that kind of environment [was impressive]."
"We've got a rule - if they don't score, they don't win," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "Even when the turnover happened, the first thing we ran out there and said...I looked at every guy and said, 'They're not scoring. So let's do what we do best and not let them score.'"
But it wasn't just on that one possession. The Ravens got after Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez on third downs all night, blitzing the second-year signal-caller from all angles and making him uncomfortable in the pocket.
"There was really nothing to it, we just had more desire to win," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We knew if we'd win the third down battle it would be a long day for [Mark Sanchez], and that's what we tried to make happen."