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Jets fall to Ravens 24-9 in disappointing season opener

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Ravens' Justin Houston hits Jets quarterback Joe Flacco as he throws a pass during the first half of their Week 1 matchup.
Ravens’ Justin Houston hits Jets quarterback Joe Flacco as he throws a pass during the first half of their Week 1 matchup.
AP Photo/John Munson

The Jets stumbled in their season-opening game, as they fell to the Baltimore Ravens 24-9.

Gang Green failed to generate any momentum throughout the game, and looked like a squad of misfits through 4 quarters, as the Ravens steamrolled New York for the Week 1 victory. 

Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes, including two to Devin Duvernay, and the Baltimore Ravens rolled past their out-matched opponent on a rainy Sunday — giving little hope that the team will improve from their lackluster 4–13 regular season record last year. 

Head coach Robert Saleh blasted his team’s effort following the game, saying they lacked teamwork and effort. 

“In critical moments of the game, nobody was helping one another,” he said.

“We’ve got to get it fixed. We’re young at the skill spots, we’re young at critical positions, and we’ve got to grow quick,” he added. “There’s just little detail that we weren’t clean on on the offensive side of the ball.”

Jackson went 17 of 30 for 213 yards, including a TD to Rashod Bateman, and an interception. The performance came hours after ESPN reported that Jackson turned down a five-year extension offer worth more than $250 million.

Jackson didn’t run much on Sunday, just 17 yards rushing on six carries, but he didn’t need to because the Jets’ offense struggled to get anything going. The defense, meanwhile, struggled to stop the potent Baltimore offense, which recorded 63 yards on the ground and 213 from passes.

Joe Flacco, starting against the team whom he helped win a Super Bowl, and played his first 11 years with, was ineffective and wasn’t helped by a few drops and lousy pass protection. 

The veteran went 37 of 59 for 307 yards, with a touchdown and interception — and the fans at MetLife Stadium chanted backup Mike White’s name a few times in the second half, suggesting that Gang Green’s faithful were not satisfied with Flacco’s performance.

Flacco started in place of Zach Wilson, who’s out until at least Week 4 while recovering from a bone bruise and a torn meniscus.

There were early signs this could be a long one for the Jets’ offense. Flacco was intercepted by Marcus Williams on the third drive when intended receiver Lawrence Cager slipped on the wet turf and the ball went right to the Ravens safety, who returned it to the Jets 13. But New York’s defense held firm and Baltimore settled for Justin Tucker’s 24-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh reacts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Munson)
New York Jets’ Elijah Moore (8) helps up quarterback Joe Flacco (19) after Flacco threw an interception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Munson)

The Jets missed a chance to tie early in the second quarter when Greg Zuerlein was wide left on a 45-yard attempt.

Saleh, for his part, added his confidence in his kicker.

“He’s a veteran. I think he’ll bounce back, I’m not worried about Z.”

One play after left tackle Ja’Wuan James, who started in place of the injured Ronnie Stanley, was carted off the field with an ankle injury, Jackson perfectly placed a pass to Duvernay for a 25-yard TD and a 10-point lead with 3:45 left in the first half.

The Jets responded with their first points of the season, with Zuerlein making a 45-yarder this time around.

For more coverage of the Jets and the NFL, head to amNY.com.

The Ravens extended their lead on their second drive of the second half on Duvernay’s second touchdown catch when Jackson avoided pressure, stepped up in the pocket and found Duvernay streaking into the end zone.

The Jets appeared to make a big play on defense late in the third quarter when D.J. Reed forced Mike Davis to fumble, but the Ravens running back recovered. On the next play, Bateman split two Jets defenders and Jackson lofted a pass that hit him in stride for a 55-yard touchdown that made it 24-3.

New York’s offense finally found some rhythm with a nine-play drive to get into the red zone, but but rookie running back Breece Hall fumbled after a 7-yard catch that would’ve been a first down and Marlon Humphrey recovered for the Ravens.

“You’re not gonna beat a veteran team when you’re not capitalizing on the momentum that you gain,” Saleh said. “In my opinion, this was a game that we absolutely lost.”  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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