Jets QB Brooks Bollinger's first NFL start was one he'd like to forget. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Earlier in the week, Jets head coach Herman Edwards said the Jets would keep the game plan simple to help out QB Brooks Bollinger. The Jets certainly did that running the ball 15 times for only 28 yards as the Baltimore Ravens were expecting it and stacked the box against the Jets in a 13-3 loss to Baltimore. With the loss the Jets drop to 1-3 on the season.
When Bollinger did throw the ball, he struggled, completing 14-of-28 passes for 149 yards. “It starts and stops with the QB,” Bollinger told ESPN Radio after the game. “ I didn’t play well enough today for us to get anything going. Definitely disappointing and frustrating. Only thing I know is to get back to work and fix it.”
The offensive line did not help much as Bollinger was sacked five times. The Jets offense only produced 152 yards on offense and punted nine of their 11 possessions. Edwards said there was never talk about replacing Bollinger with backup QB Vinny Testaverde.
The Ravens offense led by QB Anthony Wright didn’t have much more success than the Jets but Wright was able to lead his team to two field goals in the first half.
Baltimore scored on their second possession of the game as K Matt Stover made a 42-yard field goal to put his team on top, 3-0 with 6:31 left in the first quarter. The Ravens completed two third downs on the drive to keep it alive.
Stover extended the lead to 6-0 after making a 25-yard field goal early in the second quarter. The drive took nine plays, 65 yards, and 5:33.
The Jets defense came up big on the Ravens first possession of the second half as CB David Barrett forced a fumble by RB Jamal Lewis and LB Victor Hobson ran it back 43 yards to the Ravens one-yard line.
On first and goal, Martin was stuffed at the line. The Jets tried a bootleg on second down but Bollinger actually lost two yards running to his left. Martin again got the ball on third down but was unable to find the end zone, setting up 4th-and-goal. Edwards sent the kicking team on and rookie K Mike Nugent put the Jets on the board with a 21-yard field goal as the Jets cut the Ravens lead in half at 6-3 early in the third quarter.
The Ravens responded by going on a 13-play, 71 yard drive that lasted 8:05, culminating in a Lewis one-yard touchdown run. Lewis, who had not been productive in the Ravens first two games, finished with 81 yards on 29 carries. On third-and-five from the Jets 41, Wright passed to WR Mark Clayton for fouryards where he was tackled by CB Ty Law and CB Derrick Strait. Ravens head coach Brian Billick challenged the spot of the ball and the play was upheld. On fourth-and-one from the Jets 37, the Ravens caught theJets off-guard and Wright rushed up the middle for the first down, keeping the drive alive.
When the Jets took over with 3:08 left in the third quarter, Edwards finally let Bollinger start airing it out. On the drive Bollinger was 4-for-5 for 32 yards but on 3rd-and-6 from the Ravens 38, Bollinger was sacked and the Jets were forced to punt.
The teams traded punts before Wright launched a ball from the Jets 39 intended for WR Clarence Moore. Instead, Jets S Erik Coleman intercepted the pass in the end zone for a touchback.
The Jets again were unable to capitalize on the turnover, producing just one first down and punted.
After a Ravens drive that consumed a little over four minutes but resulted in a punt, the Jets had one last chance with 3:55 left in the game. After two incomplete passes, Bollinger completed his next two passes for 48 yards to move the Jets into Ravens territory. A offensive pass interference penalty on WR Laveraneus Coles on first down moved the Jets back 10 yards. TE Chris Baker caught a pass for four yardson 1st-and-20 from the Ravens 44. WR Jerricho Cotchery was Bollinger’s intended target on second and third down but both passes fell incomplete. With 2:45 left and 4th-and-16, Bollinger completed a pass to RB Derrick Blaylock for 10 yards, well short of the first down.
The Ravens took over and after a run for a first down by Lewis were able to kneel out the clock.
“We’re going to sit down Monday figure out what we have to do better offensively to score some points and move the ball,” Edwards said.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Jets as they return home to face undefeated Tampa Bay next week. Just four games into the season, the Jets cannot afford to throw the season away.
-Curtis Martin continued his struggles, carrying 13 times for 30 yards. Asked after the game about why the running game has not been up to par this year, Edwards said, “I don’t know. We got to figure it out.”
-WR Justin McCareins was the leading receiver with three catches for 59 yards.
-Ben Graham punted nine times with his longest punt going 57 yards.
-The Jets were just 3-14 (21%) on third downs while the Ravens were 5-14 (36%) on third downs.
-The Ravens controlled time of possession, 38:01 to 21:59.
-The Jets were penalized five times for 39 yards.
-LB Jonathan Vilma led the Jets with 16 tackles while LB Mark Brown filling in for the injured Eric Barton had 12 tackles.
Edwards said there were no new injuries to report. QB Jay Fiedler, QB Chad Pennington, FB B.J. Askew, LB Eric Barton, T-G Steve Morley, WE Trevor Johnson and QB Kliff Kingsbury were all inactive. Morley and Kingsbury were the only players that were inactive that are not injured.
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