After four straight losses the New York Jets finally got back in the win column by beating the Baltimore Ravens 24-16. It was far from a perfect performance but the Jets outplayed the Ravens for most of the, if not the entire, game and absolutely dominated the second half.
The Jets defense only allowed three field goals the entire game, the Ravens lone touchdown can on a muffed handle on a punt by Lachlan Edwards that the Ravens recovered in the end zone. Edwards has been solid all year, but between the fumble and a shanked punt it's safe to say he won't be getting a game ball today.
The Ravens took a 16-14 lead into halftime but the Jets defense completely shut the Ravens down in the second half as Matt Forte took over to lead the Jets to 10 second half points. The Jets ran for 138 yards in the second half (Robby Anderson won't be getting a game ball but his 30 yard run on a reverse was a huge play that set the Jets offense up for more points as the Ravens were loading up the box and the Jets didn't trust Fitzpatrick to air it out much) the Ravens ran for negative one. The Ravens had a lousy 47 total yards in the second half as the Jets defensive-front stymied any hope the Ravens had for a rushing attack and the secondary actually played really well in the second half. So let's get right to it and hand out the game balls.
Sheldon Richardson - See what happens when you play your best defensive player in his natural position? He does things that remind everyone that he's the team's best defensive player. Richardson was a disruptive force of nature yesterday, eight total tackles, one sack, two quarterback hits and two tackles for a loss on run plays. Richardson played like a man possessed and has to have Todd Bowles rethinking playing him at linebacker whenever Muhammad Wilkerson comes back. Yes, Richardson is the most versatile player on the defensive line and is most capable of playing at linebacker but doing that deprives the team of having their best defensive player impacting the game like he should. A lot of players contributed to this win, but none more than Richardson.
Julian Stanford - Erin Henderson is no longer on the team, Darron Lee was out with an ankle injury and Bruce Carter had to leave the game with an injury of his own. Next man up was Stanford and he came to play with seven total tackles, six of them solo. Stanford was all over the place making plays. He needs more playing time and based on yesterday he will get it.
The entire secondary - This secondary has been atrocious all season and they didn't get off to a good start, they started giving up too many soft cushions and allowed a 53 yard pass to Mike Wallace to drop right between Buster Skrine and Calvin Pryor. It was a bad look, but both players made up for it with their play in the second half. Skrine had an excellent interception on the sidelines then returned it 51 yards to the Ravens three-yard-line. The offense failed to score a touchdown and had to settle for a field goal but the defense was just getting started as Skrine's pick ignited the entire unit. Marcus Gilchrist got a pick of his own, Darrelle Revis had his best game of the year, allowing only one catch on five targets and had his first pass defended on the season, and Pryor started playing with confidence and made a handful of really nice tackles to stall Ravens drives.
Matt Forte - Forte struggled early, the Jets kept calling inside run play after inside run play on first downs and they continued to fail. Forte started to show some signs of life as a receiver but Bilal Powell looked to be the superior runner but Forte came alive in the second half and took over the game. Forte ran for 100 yards on 30 carries (3.3 yards per carry is still not very good) but he added 54 yards on four catches and a touchdown on the ground and through the air. Forte has struggled mightily these past few weeks but if the Jets are going to win they need more games like this from Forte, only even better.
"It was a sit in the zone play. I turned around and the only thing I saw was Brandon Marshall blocking his man," Enunwa said. "So I knew it was my moment to get out there, and I ran as fast as I could. The one thing I was thinking about was that Odell Beckham Jr. had a couple of them last week, so I wanted to make sure that people knew that he wasn't the only explosive receiver in the 2014 draft class."
Don't worry Quincy, John Idzik knew and that's all that matters.
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com)