OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It’s time to take the Baltimore Ravens seriously as a Super Bowl contender.

Their 14-point victory in Seattle two weeks ago put them in the discussion, and no further evidence is necessary after Baltimore rang up 37 points and repeatedly harassed Tom Brady in a rout of the previously unbeaten New England Patriots on Sunday night.

Riding a four-game winning streak and holding a two-game lead in the AFC North at the midpoint of the season, Baltimore (6-2) is a team no defense wants to face.

The Patriots were rendered powerless against Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who directed an offense that amassed 210 yards rushing and scored 17 points on its first three possessions. That’s no small feat, given that New England had been allowing an average of 7.6 points and 85.3 yards rushing per game.

After Jackson scored the clinching touchdown in a 37-20 victory, a 1-yard run that capped a drive that lasted more than 9½ minutes, many of the deliriously delighted fans began chanting “MVP! MVP!”

There’s still half a season to play, but at this point, Jackson looks the part.


“Yes, I’m right with the crowd. I mean that,” said Ravens safety Earl Thomas, whose interception of Brady served as a precursor for the 68-yard march. “This man is the MVP. I’m right behind him. I’m backing him. When you finish the game like that, it’s just a sigh of relief for us on defense.”

Jackson ran for two scores, threw for another and accounted for 224 of Baltimore’s 372 yards in offense. The defense forced two turnovers, scored on one of them and blanked the Patriots over the final 22 minutes.

“It’s a good win,” Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. He then conceded, “Probably more than a good win.”

JETS: Le’Veon Bell had an MRI on one of his knees, and the New York Jets are awaiting the results to see if the star running back will need to miss any time.

Coach Adam Gase says Monday he’s unsure when Bell was injured during New York’s 26-18 loss at Miami on Sunday.

Bell had 66 yards on 17 carries and caught eight passes for 55 yards against the Dolphins a week after he was frustrated with getting only 11 touches in New York’s loss at Jacksonville.


While the Jets wait to hear the news on Bell, Gase said nose tackle Steve McLendon was still being evaluated for a neck injury.

EAGLES: DeSean Jackson will have surgery to correct a core muscle injury Tuesday morning.

Jackson suffered what the Eagles initially labeled a groin injury early in their Week 2 loss to the Falcons. The team later would term it an abdomen injury. Jackson missed the next six games as he recovered. He practiced last week for the first time since the injury, but only on a limited basis.

DOLPHINS: Running back Mark Walton was suspended without pay for the next four games for violating NFL conduct and substance abuse policies.

The suspension stems from Walton being arrested three times last offseason in his hometown of Miami. He was sentenced in August to six months’ probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge. Other charges, including marijuana possession and reckless driving, were dismissed.

n Undrafted rookie receiver Preston Williams will miss the final eight games with a knee injury suffered in the Dolphins’ first win of the year against the Jets.


Williams was a pleasant surprise amid Miami’s dismal start this season. He has 32 receptions, which leads the Dolphins and is tied for the most among rookie wide receivers in the NFL.

COLTS: Quarterback Jacoby Brissett has a sprained left knee but has not been ruled out of Sunday’s game against Miami.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters on his weekly conference call Brissett was feeling better than expected and no decision would be made until later this week.

It’s not even clear if Brissett will practice this week.

FALCONS: Atlanta signed former New England punter Ryan Allen, who averaged 45.3 yards over six seasons with the Patriots. He was released by the reigning Super Bowl champions in August.

WASHINGTON: Bill Callahan was happy with Dwayne Haskins on Sunday. Very happy. But after having a day to absorb Washington’s rookie quarterback’s first NFL start, the interim head coach wouldn’t go as far as to name Haskins the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season – or even for another game.

“I’m going to take my time on that,” Callahan said.

The choice would likely be between Haskins, the first-round rookie from Ohio State, and Case Keenum, a seven-year veteran who started seven of Washington’s first nine games this year but is in the concussion protocol after a hit he took during the Oct. 24 loss in Minnesota.

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