By Peter Schwartz
This was just downright offensive!
The Jets managed 176 total yards in a season opening 10-9 loss to the Ravens in their first game at New Meadowlands Stadium. Mark Sanchez completed just 10 of 21 passes for 74 yards as the Jets converted just one of eleven third downs in the game and none until the fourth quarter.
After forcing the Ravens to punt, the Jets did have one final possession. But after converting their only first down of the game, the drive would come to an end a few plays later. On fourth and ten from the Ravens 31-yard line, Sanchez completed a pass to Dustin Keller who stepped out of bounds before reaching the first down marker.
“When I caught the ball I thought I was right at the spot and could just go out of bounds ahead of the first down mark,” said Keller. ‘But unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”
The Ravens then ran out the clock to seal the win.
For a Jets team that has Super Bowl aspirations, there were just too many miscues.
“We didn’t have our best performance and we obviously wanted to play better in front of our home crowd for the first time,” said Sanchez. “I think this loss is attributed to a lot of mistakes on offense.”
The Jets were sloppy all the way around. They committed 14 penalties for 125 yards and allowed the Ravens to complete 11 out of 19 on third down.
“It’s a disappointment for us as a team,” said cornerback Darrelle Revis. “We wanted to win this game to be 1-0 going into the Patriots game feeling good. Right now, we just have to go back to the drawing board and get more focused and play ball.”
Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin had a field day against Jets first round pick Kyle Wilson catching 7 passes for 110 yards.
Already without LB Calvin Pace for an undetermined amount of time, the Jets’ defense took another hit.
NT Kris Jenkins left the game in the first quarter after suffering an injured left knee. Jenkins’ 2009 season came to an end last October against the Bills when he suffered an injury to the same knee.
How bad is the injury?
“I have no idea,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “All I know is that he couldn’t return today. Maybe we will hear some news (Tuesday).”
An update is expected on Tuesday.
The Jets drew first blood when they forced a turnover on the Ravens first possession. Shaun Ellis and Bryan Thomas combined to sack Joe Flacco forcing a fumble. Sione Pouha made the recovery at the Baltimore 11-yard line. The Jets couldn’t find the end zone so they had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Nick Folk.
On the Ravens’ ensuing drive, a defensive holding call on Jets first round pick Kyle Wilson resulted in a Baltimore first down. A couple of plays later, Bart Scott forced a Willis McGahee fumble that was recovered, once again, by Pouha.
Pouha had a terrific night. I caught up with him in the locker room after the game. Listen…
Pouha came up in Ryan’s post game press conference.
“That’s the first question in two years that I’ve had on him,” said Ryan. “He does a tremendous job for us. He’s probably one of the best unknown players in this league.”
The Ravens’ third possession came to and end when Flacco was sacked by Bryan Thomas on a third and two from the Ravens’ 21.
On the ensuing punt, a terrific block by Dwight Lowery sprung Jim Leonhard for a 32-yard return to the Ravens 37. On fourth and one from the Baltimore ten-yard line, the Jets elected to kick a field goal. Folk’s 28-yard boot made it 6-0 Jets.
Baltimore committed yet another miscue on their fourth possession. After an Antonio Cromartie pass interference penalty, Cromartie made amends by picking off Flacco deep in Jets territory and doing a great job to stay in-bounds. Aided by a terrific block by Darrelle Revis on Anquan Boldin, Cromartie returned the ball 66 yards to the Ravens’ 31.
The Jets couldn’t cash in as Shonn Green fumbled and the Ravens took over at their own 26.
Billy Cundiff nailed a 46-yard field goal, but Braylon Edwards was flagged for running into the kicker. Kyle Wilson was called for pass interference on T.J. Houshmandzadeh at the Jets one.
On third down, Willis McGahee found the end zone with :06 left in the first half and the Ravens led 7-6 at halftime.
Other notes from the game…..
Lightning delayed the opening kickoff until 7:25 pm.
The Ravens won the opening coin toss and elected to defer.
The Jets decided to wear white at home.
When the Jets offense was on the field, the video boards showed a message saying “QUIET…OFFENSE AT WORK”.
My question would be where were they working? Because it certainly wasn’t functioning at the Meadowlands.
LOTS OF EMPTY SEATS
Just like at the Giants season opener on Sunday, empty grey seats at New Meadowlands Stadium were noticeable on Monday night. The Jets announced a crowd of 78,127, roughly 4,000 shy of a sellout. But the empty chairs were club seats. The Jets say that they sold out of all non-premium seats for the season which will ensure that games are not blacked out on television.
TV AZTECA WAS IN THE HOUSE
On Tuesday, the Jets will be interviewing players regarding the incident on Saturday involving TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz. Given the circumstances and the on-going investigation, one would think she would want to avoid attention.
She was at the Jets/Ravens game on Monday night. After the game, head coach Rex Ryan was asked to address the situation.
“We never want anyone around our team to be uncomfortable,” said Ryan. “We’re cooperating with the NFL and we’ll get down to it.”
The team is working with the Association For Women in Sports Media to arrange an educational awareness session.
That’s it for now. Rex Ryan will address the media on Tuesday afternoon. The players are off before beginning preparations for the Patriots on Wednesday.