Ravens' defensive backs dusted by Jones

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In a blur of Byron Leftwich spirals and Matt Jones fly routes, the Jacksonville Jaguars kept piercing the Baltimore Ravens' secondary. The NFL's second-ranked defense broke down for the first time without injured middle linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.

With Jones catching five passes for a career-high 117 yards, the Jaguars produced more than enough big plays and rolled to a 30-3 win Sunday.

Leftwich connected with the 6-foot-6, 229-pound rookie in the first quarter behind cornerback Chris McAlister, who got no help from safety Will Demps, for a 32-yard touchdown catch.

The converted quarterback from Arkansas dashed past Deion Sanders for a 36-yard catch down to the Ravens' 4 to set up another score in the third quarter.

Afterward, there was little for the Ravens (2-7) to do besides compliment the promising first-round draft pick.

"I'm happy for the kid," Sanders said. "He helped his team tremendously. We have to assess some blown coverages.

"That kid will be very good. He has what it takes. He's an athlete. I like his tenacity."
Jones wasn't done with the Ravens. He beat McAlister again in the fourth quarter for a 42-yard catch that led to a field goal.

"We've been pretty good this year at stopping big plays, but we weren't able to hold up," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

The secondary provided little in the way of explanations. McAlister left the locker room without conducting interviews. Demps said he would need to watch the film to properly evaluate what happened.

Jones, who has been clocked at 4.3 second in the 40-yard dash, also lined up at quarterback for one snap. He gained 10 yards even though everyone in Alltel Stadium knew what was coming.

"He's making plays and helping us win football games," Leftwich said. "It was great to see him have that type of game because with the talent he has, he can do those type of things."

SHUT DOWN: It has become a familiar sequence for the Ravens.

The running game is abandoned as soon as it doesn't produce results or the team falls behind.

Sunday was no different. Former Pro Bowl selection Jamal Lewis was held to 44 yards on 14 carries.

"I don't think it was tough sledding," Lewis said. "We had some positive runs. The line did a great job of getting some good push at times. I don't know what happened."

The Ravens rank last in scoring and are third-worst in red zone offense.

"This is like the 2000 season when we couldn't score a touchdown," Lewis said. "We have to fight an uphill battle."

POUNDED: Despite not having Fred Taylor due to an ankle injury, the Jaguars had no problems running the football.

Greg Jones, a 250-pound converted fullback, powered his way for a career-high 106 yards on 25 carries and scored a touchdown.

"Tip your hats off to them," defensive end Tony Weaver said. "They played an aggressive style of football. In the second half, they were pounding the ball the entire time."

BACK IN THE GAME: Running back Musa Smith played in his first game since breaking his leg last November. He caught three passes for five yards.

"It felt good to get back out there," Smith said. "I was kind of nervous at first. Once I got that first pop, I felt right at home."

LIMITED PLAYING TIME: Running back Chester Taylor, who missed practice Thursday and Friday for personal reasons, barely played and didn't touch the football.

"Ask the coaches," said Taylor, declining to offer a reason for his inactivity. "It's their decision."

TRAINING ROOM: Linebacker Terrell Suggs played despite a painful thigh injury, but his mobility was limited and had just one tackle.

"I knew it was going to hurt and it did, but that's no excuse," Suggs said. "I was supposed to produce and didn't do a good job."

Suggs and quarterback Kyle Boller hurt their hands, but neither injury is considered serious.
INACTIVES: The Ravens deactivated Reed (ankle), Lewis (thigh), cornerback Dale Carter (thigh), fullback Ovie Mughelli (ankle), safety B.J. Ward (thigh), center Jason Brown, offensive tackle Adam Terry and receiver Clarence Moore.

QUICK HIT: Billick said he wasn't offended by the Jaguars pouring on points with the game already decided. "That is a competitive team that is trying to make the playoffs, trying to create an identity," Billick said. "I have no problem with that."

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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