Ravens deliver a few hard knocks in anemic Jets' stadium debut
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --
"They've got to stop inviting us to homecoming, Ray,'' a Ravens team official said to Baltimore middle linebacker
"Every time somebody invites us, it goes the opposite way,'' Lewis replied, laughing like only the recently vindicated can laugh.
Don't pay too much attention to the razor-thin score in this one. The scoreboard read
"They won the important downs,'' said a less-than-chatty Jets head coach
Maybe it's because they don't play in a big market like New York, but the Ravens haven't received the kind of credit they've deserved for winning a total of 23 games in the previous two seasons. But trust me, that's about to change. Knocking off the high-flying, offseason-headline-stealing Jets was an excellent beginning. But there's plenty more glory to come for the team I expect to be holding the Lombardi Trophy aloft in Dallas on the first Sunday in February.
• A ridiculous 1 of 11 showing on third down (9 percent) by the Jets offense, with six total first downs, 176 total yards, and only 60 yards of net passing. It's remarkable that New York was even in this game with production' like that. The Jets had just two gains of more than nine yards before the final play of the third quarter, and quarterback
• The stat of the night for the Jets was their 14 penalties for 125 yards. In the first half alone, New York committed 10 penalties for 100 yards, with five resulting in Ravens first downs. The six Baltimore first downs by penalty were the most in Ravens franchise history.
"Obviously, it starts with the defensive penalties,'' Ryan said of his team's troubles against Baltimore. "We gave them five first downs in the first half alone. That's not who we are. Today was a joke. We've got to be physical, but we've got to be smart. We can't have those penalties. Baltimore kept the football and kept drives alive, and we helped them keep drives alive.''
• New York's defense played well at times, but the Ravens were still 11 of 19 on third downs (58 percent) and held an almost 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession. Last year, the Jets were merely the best defense in the league on third down, holding opponents to just a 32 percent success rate.
Ryan has a lot of work to do this week putting the pieces back together. You're not going to win many games with an offense incapable of threatening the defense, and with the exception of
The Ravens picked on and picked apart Cromartie and Wilson, as Baltimore receivers
"We've got to play a little more disciplined and we've got to be better with our hands and feet,'' Cromartie said. "It was more individual mistakes. But we've got to get better.''
Added Revis: "It's disappointing for us as a team. We wanted this game really badly.'' But badly was exactly how the New York secondary fared.
"It's not just about me,'' Boldin said. "We have a group of receivers that are going to be tough to defend. I don't think there is any team in this league can match up with our three receivers. We have three number one receivers on the field.''
Ravens tight end
Baltimore kept Sanchez bottled up all night long, and the Jets' 2009 first-round pick finished with a paltry 10 completions for 74 yards, a pair of sacks and a 56.4 quarterback rating. After the Jets' preseason struggles, you have to start to question when Sanchez will begin to lose confidence?
"He wasn't the only one,'' Ryan said, when asked about Sanchez's rough game. "He did misfire on a few passes, but quite honestly, he's not the only guy that needs to improve. There's a bunch of us that need to improve, and I believe we will.''
"Obviously, it's a huge loss,'' Ryan said. "There are very few Kris Jenkins out there. I have no idea what the extent of the injury is, so I'm hopeful that it's not serious. But clearly, it was enough for him not to return to the game. We're definitely hoping that he'll be okay.''
Other than Revis, Jenkins might be the Jets' defensive MVP, given his pivotal role in the middle of the 3-4 defense. He's a run-stuffer extraordinaire and his presence seems to lift the entire defense. New York did have an exceptional game in run defense, even after Jenkins exited. Baltimore's
That's the kind of killer mental mistake Ryan's team was known for against the Ravens.
"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,'' Keller said. "But that wasn't the case. I thought I was right at the sticks for a first down. But no excuses, I just didn't get it done.''
Neither did the entire Jets team. From running back