Fitz­patrick to res­cue as Jets snap los­ing skid

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Den­nis Waszak Jr. AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHER­FORD, N.J. >> Fitz Magic re­turned af­ter Geno Smith’s se­quel ended early, and the New York Jets got their first vic­tory in over a month.

Fitz­patrick re­placed an in­jured Smith and led the Jets on three scor­ing drives, and a re­ju­ve­nated de­fense came up with two rare in­ter­cep­tions in a 24-16 come­back vic­tory over the Bal­ti­more Ravens on Sun­day that snapped a fourgame skid.

“It’s a pretty ironic sit­u­a­tion,” Fitz­patrick said.

Fitz­patrick came in for Smith, start­ing for the first time since 2014, in the se­cond quar­ter and led the Jets on a go-ahead drive capped by a 13-yard touch­down catch by Matt Forte. Fitz­patrick fin­ished 9 of 14 for 120 yards and a touch­down for the Jets (2-5), whose last win came at Buf­falo on Sept. 15.

“It’s about damn time,” safety Calvin Pryor said.

Smith in­jured his right knee while tak­ing a sack from Bal­ti­more’s Matthew Judon and will have an MRI to de­ter­mine if he needs to be side­lined. Cen­ter Nick Man­gold (knee) and line­backer Bruce Carter (ham­string) were also in­jured.

Fitz­patrick was ef­fi­cient af­ter los­ing his job ear­lier in the week. Coach Todd Bowles de­cided to start Smith over Fitz­patrick , who had thrown an NFL-lead­ing 11 in­ter­cep­tions and just five touch­down passes. Smith was 4 of 8 for 95 yards and a TD to Quincy Enunwa.

Justin Tucker put the Ravens (3-4) back up 16-14 as time ex­pired in the first half with his third field goal, a 44-yarder.

Joe Flacco started for Bal­ti­more af­ter be­ing ques­tion­able with a sore shoul­der . He went a team-record 176 con­sec­u­tive throws without an in­ter­cep­tion be­fore Buster Skrine picked off his pass in the third quar­ter and re­turned it 51 yards to the Ravens 3.

But the Jets fal­tered and had to set­tle for Nick Folk’s 22-yard field goal and a 17-16 lead.

The de­fense made it two pos­ses­sions in a row with a take­away — af­ter com­ing in with just four all sea­son — as Mar­cus Gilchrist picked off Flacco and re­turned it

27 yards to the Ravens 24.

This time, the Jets cashed in, but not be­fore some hot potato with the foot­ball.

On se­cond-and-goal from the 6, Forte ran up the mid­dle for 3 yards and had the ball ripped out of his hands. Timmy Jerni­gan re­cov­ered for Bal­ti­more and tried to ad­vance, but Bran­don Mar­shall stripped the ball and re­cov­ered it for the Jets.

“At the end of the day, coach says the best thing for me to do was to fall on the ball,” Jerni­gan said. “From now on, I’m go­ing to fall on the ball.”

Three plays later, Forte ran it in from 1 yard.

Forte fin­ished with 100 yards and a TD on 30 car­ries and four catches for 54 yards and a score. He also joined Mar­shall Faulk, Mar­cus Allen, Thur­man Thomas and Her­schel Walker as the only play­ers with 8,000 yards rush­ing, 4,000 yards re­ceiv­ing and

20 TD re­cep­tions. With 3:04 left, Folk had a chance to seal the vic­tory, but his 51-yard field goal at­tempt was blocked by Bran­don Wil­liams.

Again, the Jets’ de­fense came up big, with Mar­cus Wil­liams knock­ing away Flacco’s des­per­a­tion heave as the Ravens dropped their fourth straight — and se­cond in a row at MetLife Sta­dium af­ter los­ing 27-23 to the Gi­ants last week .

Flacco was 25 of 44 for 248 yards and the two in­ter­cep­tions.

“Right now, it’s us ver­sus our­selves,” Bran­don Wil­liams said. “We’ve got to look within our­selves and look at each other and fix the stupid stuff.”

SMITH’S QUICK START

Enunwa mo­tored down the left side­line and out­ran two Ravens for a 69yard touch­down in the first quar­ter. An ex­cited Smith ran all the way down the field to cel­e­brate with Enunwa as fire­works went off at MetLife Sta­dium.

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