Phew, I think I lost a few years off my life after watching that one. Bottom line, as Ray Lewis would say, is that the Ravens buckled up their chin scraps (another Ray-Ray line) went into the New Meadowlands Stadium and got it done. Was it ugly? Yup, it was hideous. Should the Jets have won? Probably. But the Ravens hung in and enter week 2 against the Bengals 1-0. Here are my quick thoughts on the game.
- Did the Jets throw this game? – Rexy’s Jets handed this one over to the Ravens at times. They gave Baltimore five first down conversions in the 1st half including a third down conversion on a holding call on Antonio Cromartie in the end zone that resulted in a Willis McGahee touchdown. The Jets’ last play of the game was a fourth down nine yard completion to Dustin Keller in which all the receiver needed to do was reach the ball out another foot instead running out of bounds. It certainly seemed like New York wanted Baltimore to take this one at times.
- Defense steps up – All we’ve heard all season long is that the aging Ravens defense will be a subplot this season to their powerful new offense, but the Ravens defense stepped up big time in New York. The Jets offense converted three turnovers into just six points. The Ravens maintained the Jets running game, kept pressure Mark Sanchez up front, had a couple of key sacks and the secondary kept decent coverage. Overall, I think the Ravens defense matched up well to the Jets offensive strategy, which was run and pass short.
- Flacco looked bad, offense was subpar – Ideally, I think Joe Flacco would have liked to have started the 2010 season with anything other than a fumble on the 18 yard line. Joe finished the night 20-38 with 248 yards, but had a interception and the previously mentioned fumble. Ray Rice was held to just 43 yards rushing and two receptions for 19 yards. Anquan Boldin looked to be Flacco’s new go to target recording 7 receptions for 110 yards. Todd Heap took a huge hit on a leaping catch late in the fourth quarter. His role will likely be increased this season with new targets the Ravens have on offense.
- Keep Willis on the sideline – I don’t see McGahee as the goal line rusher for this team. Willis coughed up the ball in the red zone late in the first quarter and then on the third attempt finally converted on a short goal line drive by the Ravens in the 2nd. To me, the Haloti Ngata/LeRon McClain package would have been much more successful on the goal line than with Willis.
- Ray still has it – After blowing up Saturn earlier in the week, Ray Lewis dominated Dustin Keller across the middle of the field with just 41 seconds left in the game. Ray still looks sharp, he’s still the commander of this defense and he’s still feared around the league.