But, in the end, the Ravens won and truly dominated the game.
Of course, when the Jets were marching toward the Inner Harbor and a tie game — and if not for some butterfingers and a Ray Lewis tip-drill savior, it might have happened — it didn’t matter that the Jets only had 100 yards of offense through the first three quarters. All that mattered was the scoreboard, and the Jets got quite resourceful in that department late into the afternoon.
The botched possession at the three minute mark…
The field goal Matt Stover missed…
The strange instant replay touchdown the Jets were gifted…
And the one Todd Heap scored that was nearly negated…
I guess the point is: it was closer than it should’ve been and that makes anyone in a purple sweater a bit nervous, and perhaps, a bit skeptical about just how good the 2007 Ravens are going to be.
In the end, it was Ray Lewis saving day (there’s a very cool video coming in my wnsTV blog…should arrive on Monday at some point!).
But the game and the victory didn’t come without some casualties.
The Trevor Pryce wrist injury is going to be a factor. As we said last week, the vets like Lewis, Pryce, Steve McNair and Jon Ogden all put in stellar efforts en route to 13-3 last year. They were all — for the most part — extremely healthy for men of their age in the NFL.
So, as we enter Week 3 of the season, we’ve now seen all of them suffer a variety of injuries and that doesn’t bode well for January football. You can’t win with backups across the board and a myriad of highly-paid, highly-experienced, championship-caliber players on the shelf.
Adam Terry and Marshall Yanda played decently on the ends (except for the penalties!) and Kyle Boller was as good as you could’ve hoped McNair would’ve been. So far, so good at weathering this early-season storm in the purple infirmary ward.
But the loss of Pryce — it appears he’ll have surgery on his wrist and would figure to miss at least a few weeks — means a major "step-up" for Dwan Edwards, Jarret Johnson and Justin Bannan on the D line. Much like McNair and Ogden, there is NO replacing Pryce’s veteran presence, not to mention the spark we saw from the highly-motivated former Bronco last season.
All told, if we would’ve left before the fourth quarter yesterday, we could say that the Ravens looked to be picking up right where they left off in the regular season last year.
Kyle Boller took perfect care of the football. Willis McGahee showed some promise at gaining yardage. And Brian Billick’s playcalling allowed for many different players to get involved in the offensive gameplan.
And with two measly field goals to their credit, the Ravens looked to have demoralized the Jets and young Kellen Clemens, who certainly didn’t see this kind of tenacity on defense while at Oregon in the Pac 10. The hits that Gerome Sapp and Corey Ivy laid on him were biblical "kill shots." But Clemens just kept coming back and showed some serious moxy as the Jets new leader while Chad Pennington gets better.
What looked like a relatively easy victory for the Ravens got all of our palms sweaty, and perhaps if any lesson was learned today by the younger "Baby Birds" in the purple camp, it’s that the game is 60 minutes — not 45.
We’ll take the win and be happy with it. They’re 1-1 and Arizona makes the long trip in this weekend. Then, it’s that offensive juggernaut from Cleveland.
Anything less than 3-1 would be unacceptable moving forward, but the Ravens are going to need phenomenal contributions from their bench at least for the next few weeks, and probably all season given the reality of this spate of injuries to veteran players.