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Instant analysis: Ravens roll past Jets, 42-21, for 10th straight victory, secure second straight AFC North title

Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff reacted to the Ravens’ 42-21 win Thursday night over the New York Jets.

Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: The Ravens clinched their second consecutive AFC North title with a three-touchdown win, but the final score masks what was a sloppy, choppy performance. The Jets were able to move the ball on the Ravens defense in the first half but were bailed out multiple times by New York’s ineptitude. The Ravens offense put up 42 points, but at times did not look sharp. And the special teams had perhaps its worst performance in a long time. Winning the division is something to celebrate, but the Ravens have a lot of work to do if they want to reach their ultimate goal.

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Jonas Shaffer, reporter: One takeaway from the Ravens’ latest blowout: When Lamar Jackson says he’s 100% healthy, you should take him at his word. Even after a quadriceps injury limited him in practice this week, the all-but-certain NFL MVP was on his game Thursday, running without much problem and posting his third five-touchdown game of the season through the air. It’s a credit to the Ravens that they didn’t play as well as they have in previous weeks, especially on special teams, and yet they finished with 42 points. With an offense this efficient, results like this just kind of happen.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens went off as a 17-point favorite on Thursday night and had no trouble backing that up. They scored on their first three possessions and never looked back on the way to clinching their second straight AFC North title. It wasn’t a perfect game by any means. The defense allowed a couple of big plays in the first half on third-and-long situations and the Jets had more total yards than the Ravens at halftime. There were a couple of special teams mishaps, the most glaring the blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Still, it was a historic night for the offense. Lamar Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback and tied the franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season, while the Ravens set a team record for rushing yards in a single season. Now, they have an extended break before traveling to Cleveland to face the Browns in Week 16, needing to win one of their last two games to lock up the No. 1 playoff seed in the AFC.

Childs Walker, reporter: It’s weird to say of a game in which they toyed with the Jets on the scoreboard and clinched the AFC North, but the Ravens played sloppily on Thursday night. They surrendered big plays on special teams, tackled poorly and allowed Jets receivers to find too many soft spots in their zone coverage. Lamar Jackson turned in another amazing statistical line, throwing five touchdown passes and breaking Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback. But even he missed some wide-open throws he’d like to have back. The Ravens still created turnovers and still finished drives with touchdowns. They proved again that they’re way too much for a losing team to handle. But they’ll find plenty to nitpick as they prepare for the Cleveland Browns over the next 10 days.

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