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Notebook: 'Dominant defensive performance propels Ravens

Cornerback Corey Graham intercepts a pass intended for Jets wide receiver David Nelson during the second half of the Baltimore Ravens' 19-3 win over the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Sunday Nov. 24, 2013
Cornerback Corey Graham intercepts a pass intended for Jets wide receiver David Nelson during the second half of the Baltimore Ravens' 19-3 win over the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Sunday Nov. 24, 2013 (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

BALTIMORE - What the Ravens did to Geno Smith Sunday was reminiscent of what they did to Eli Manning when he was a rookie back in 2004.
Like Manning in 2004, Smith was pressured, didn't have many opportunities down the field because of as well as Baltimore's secondary played and just had an all-around bad day.
Smith didn't finish with a quarterback rating of 0.0 like Manning did, but he was just 9 of 22 for 127 yards with no touchdowns and three turnovers.
The Ravens limited Smith and the New York Jets to 220 yards and 12 first downs. New York was just 1 of 12 on third down and scored only three points.
"What can you say about our defense?" Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "It was a dominant defensive performance. It was the fewest yards we've given up all year [and] the fewest points we've given up since [2009]. ...
"All three levels [of the defense] played exceptionally well."
It helped that Smith isn't exactly Peyton Manning and that he doesn't have much in terms of viable weapons at wide receiver or tight end, but the Ravens also held a capable Jets running game that began the day as the eighth-best rushing offense in the NFL to just 3.6 yards per carry.
And regardless of who is at quarterback or wide receiver, holding an NFL quarterback to just 42 yards passing through 3 1/2 quarters is impressive.
Smith completed just four of his first 15 passes before padding his stats some late.
"He's had better days," Jets coach Rex Ryan said of Smith.
New York drove 55 yards for a field goal on its second possession, but 10 of its next 11 possessions ended in either a three-and-out or a turnover.
Baltimore cornerback Corey Graham was responsible for each of Smith's two interceptions. The first came on a third down play during the third quarter with the Jets at the Ravens' 42-yard line. The second came with New York driving for a score that could have potentially cut Baltimore's lead to 19-11 with more than four minutes still left in the game.
Graham had the two interceptions. Terrell Suggs had a fumble recovery. And Elvis Dumervil, Daryl Smith and Pernell McPhee each had sacks.
"We wanted to be aggressive and get our hands on the receivers and make him make tight throws, and we were able to do that," Graham said. "We were able to execute out game plan, make a lot of plays, and we just took advantage of the ones that came to us."
AUTOMATIC: The wind was blowing 25-to-40 mph in Baltimore Sunday, but Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was good on all four of his field goal attempts, including a 53-yarder that moved Baltimore's lead to 12-3 during the third quarter.
Tucker has made 22 straight field goals since missing two against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2.
That ties Matt Stover for the second-longest streak in franchise history.
Tucker is also now 8 of 9 during his career on kicks of 50 yards or longer.
PANTHER PRIDE: North Carroll senior Kyle Fiedler was recognized Sunday as a Ravens Champion Athlete of the Week.
Fiedler recently finished helping the Panthers football team to a 7-3 regular-season record and their first playoff win in school history.
Weekly winners receive two tickets to the Ravens game, a VIP pregame tour, a specialized jersey, and a $500 donation to their school's athletic program.
PUNT, PASS, KICK: Sykesville resident Ian Huber competed in a NFL's Punt, Pass & Kick Team Championships on Sunday morning.
Huber was one of four boys in the 10-11 group.
All participants get one punt, one pass, and one kick, with scores based on distance and accuracy (in feet). The top four scorers in each age group from around the country qualify as national finalists.

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