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Fitzpatrick returns to lead Jets past skidding Ravens

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- *The Ravens ended a horrid two-week residency at MetLife Stadium this week, losing to the Jets, 24-16. The Ravens, after losing to the Giants a week ago, dropped to 3-4 on the season while the Jets climbed to 2-5 and snapped a four-game losing streak. *

Here's what we learned:

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick is once again playing quarterback for the Jets, thanks to a knee injury to Geno Smith. He finished his relief appearance 9-of-14 for 120 yards and a touchdown -- a heady dumpoff pass to Matt Forte from 13 yards out. At 2-5, though, the question is obvious: Is it worth continuing to cycle between two quarterbacks (Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith) while raw, desirable talent sits inactive on the bench? As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted, teams like the Vikingswere more interested in acquiring Bryce Petty than Geno Smith during emergency situations this year. Is it worth finding out exactly why? For what it's worth, coach Todd Bowles said after the game that it's "too early to tell" which QB will start when Geno is fully healthy.
  1. The Ravens were ready for Geno Smith. Yes, his five-yard pass to Quincy Enunwa turned into a 69-yard touchdown, the longest play of the season for the Jets and the team's first touchdown since the second quarter of Week 5. But it was apparent early on that they were going to challenge him to throw the ball deep and with precision. Brandon Marshall was confronted with press man coverage on nearly every snap with Smith under center while the speedier Robby Anderson was given a cushion and some room to work. A few predictable quick outs from bunch formations nearly served as interception fuel for the well-placed Ravens. Basically, it shows that Smith still has his limitations despite all the time off and soul searching. The sack on which he injured his knee could have been thrown away seconds beforehand, and forced Smith to scramble almost blindly backwards onto his own sideline.
  1. Matt Forte is ageless at times. For all the criticism hurled the Jets' way for relying on a 30-year-old back with high mileage to pace their offense, he showed Sunday that there is still something left in the tank. What, specifically, do we mean by that platitude? Older running backs tend to lose that wonderful, bracing knockout punch later in their career but Forte seems to have found a more effective way of throwing it. Well over 100 total yards with two touchdowns on Sunday, Forte was the only reason the Jets were able to move the football. It was his best performance since a hulking, 30-carry, 100-yard performance against the Bills back in Week 2.
  1. The Jets defense received some timely efforts from the right players on Sunday. Buster Skrine picked off Joe Flacco midway through the third quarter and nearly returned it for a touchdown. A scapegoat of sorts for the Jets' recent deep ball woes, Skrine opened the floodgates for a series of Jets interceptions that turned the game on its side and allowed the home team to creep back in.
  1. Is there something wrong with Joe Flacco's shoulder? The Ravens were doing everything in their power to convince the Jets there was not on Sunday, opening the offense up early before what seemed like a significant downsizing in air yards later in the matchup. Baltimore's inability to free speedy wideouts like Mike Wallace on screen passes underscored their lack of success on the final drive. Flacco also could not stop himself from throwing a pass on a crucial third-and-8 with a minute to go in the fourth quarter -- a moment that appeared to leave Flacco frustrated and dumbfounded.
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