Baltimore and New York remain in the playoff hunt after a 19-3 win by the Ravens on Sunday. Both teams hold a 5-6 record, but the Jets are now behind on tiebreakers and sit in 10th in the AFC. Lets see how SB Nation's blogs are reacting to the game.
The Baltimore Ravens needed this win in the worst way to recover from last week's crushing defeat. Not only did they get it, they also got a Miami Dolphins' loss which effectively puts the Ravens in prime position to gain control of the AFC's sixth play-off seed next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let's all take a second to thank the Carolina Panthers for beating the Miami Dolphins.
It's unclear if the New York Jets have the firepower to rebound. The loss was crushing to the organization's playoff hopes, and more concerning is how the offense is unable to generate big plays, largely in part to Geno Smith's struggles at the quarterback position. Statistically the rookie quarterback had his worst game of the season, but Gang Green Nation is reserving judgement at this time.
Unlike a lot of the other losses, I really don't see how one can pin this game on Geno. His pocket was collapsing all game. His receivers were not coming up with passes they needed to grab. Otherwise, they just weren't getting open. I'm not one to pin offensive struggles on players other than the quarterback, but there really were not a ton of terribly off the mark have-to-make throws. I'm sticking Geno in the bad, though, because he has tendencies not to like such as staring down receivers, which Dan Dierdorf wouldn't stop pointing out and not stepping up in the pocket. He also got tricked on the second interception and underthrew the ball.
The playoff race in the AFC will be fascinating to watch over the next month. It doesn't take a lot to remain in the hunt, with even Jacksonville having an outside shot at securing a wild card. Outside of the conference's top teams anything is possible, setting up the most memorable race in recent memory.