Five thoughts on the Ravens’ 42-21 win over the New York Jets Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium:
In theory, a game against the Jets, already eliminated from playoff contention, had the potential to produce a letdown. Seven of the Ravens’ first nine wins in their current winning streak were against playoff-caliber teams with a combined 64-27 record. They’d been playing and beating the best of the best, in other words. (The other two wins in the streak were over the 1-12 Cincinnati Bengals.) But the Ravens are playing so well, with such confidence and energy, that the trap-game concept honestly is beneath them. Lamar Jackson and the offense started hot, giving a national TV audience what it wanted, some magic, while putting the Jets in a hole they were unlikely to escape from. The defense yielded early but saved itself with big stops and plays. Eventually, the rout was on with everyone taking their prescribed roles, the Jets as steamrolled patsies, the Ravens as the blistering-hot Super Bowl contenders zeroing in on the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. Baltimore is 12-2 for the first time, winners of 10 straight games for the first time, and oh, I almost forgot, they clinched their second straight AFC North title with this win. That’s their No. 1 goal at the start of every season, but it’s just the place to start this year. What heady times these are.