In a Monday night battle that opened the new Meadowlands Arena, The Baltimore Ravens defense showed the New York Jets that it takes a lot more than preseason bravado to win in the National Football League. The Jets played a game of mental mistakes on offense, defense, and special teams, with a fumble by Shonn Greene on offense, a penalty by Braylon Edwards on special teams, and a end zone pass interference call on rookie Kyle Wilson having the biggest impact on the game.
With all of these negatives, the Jets still had the ball with a chance to win, but one of the most bizzare endings of a game took place, with Dustin Keller running out of bounds clearly short of the first down marker. He was wide open. He could have picked up extra yardage and stopped the clock by stepping out of bounds, but instead, exited the field just short of a first down. Game over. The Jets finished with a mere 176 yards of offense, and had a franchise-low 6 first downs for the game.
New additions: The two Chargers-turned Jets, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie had very different debuts in the green and white. Thomlison had 11 carries for 62 yards, and Cromartie had a 66-yard interception return, but his penalties proved costly. Kyle Wilson looked awful, and Matt Slauson isn’t making anyone miss Al Faneca just yet. Wilson was given far too much responsibility, which Baltimore targeted, and, oddly enough, the World’s Best Cornerback, Darrelle Revis was not given the assignment to defend the Raven’s best receiver, Anquan Boldin, who finished with 7 catches for 110 yards.
Injuries: Defensive nose tackle Kris Jenkins suffered an injury to his surgically repaired knee. He was expected to take an MRI this morning.
Santonio Holmes will begin his Jet career in the fifth game of the season, but the Jet offense can not wait until his arrival to open the offense up. The mid-season acquisition of Braylon Edwards opened the offense up more last season, but yesterday he was not being utilized as a deep threat. The conservative nature of the Jet offense is mind-boggling, and almost the polar opposite of the defense, and is shocking, especially by a team coached by Rex Ryan.
Perhaps this wake-up call in the first game of the season for the Jets will serve them well for the rest of the season. The Ravens came into the Jets home stadium and proved that it takes more than trash talking on HBO’s Hard Knocks to win in the National Football League. If the Jets can transfer the energy exerted for trash talking to the mental part of the game, perhaps the mental mistakes will lessen. It better, as the schedule gets no easier, with New England up next.