The Jets threw one wrinkle at the Ravens right off the bat with Jonathan Vilma running under the Jet’s opening kickoff. But the starting inside LB wasn’t needed as Mike Nugent but the kickoff to the back of the Baltimore end zone.
And the first defensive stand is successful. Willis McGahee carried twice and didn’t get a first down. And Kyle Boller, starting for sore-groined Steve McNair at QB, threw incomplete on third down when blitzing Eric Barton batted the ball down.
Kellen Clemens makes his first NFL start for the sore-ankled Chad Pennington. His first play was a handoff to Thomas Jones. His second play he’s in the shotgun and, against a four-man Ravens rush, overthrows Jerricho Cotchery.
And on Clemens’ third play, also out of the gun, he got off the pass against a five-man rush. But Laveranues Coles tripped in trying to get past CB Corey Ivy — no flag thrown — and Ed Reed makes his 28th career interception as he runs out of bounds at the Baltimore 49.
Darrelle Revis gets his first pro PD by using his head — Boller’s downfield pass bounces off his helmet — so Reed’s pick didn’t hurt.
What did hurt was that on the Jets’ next drive, Clemens had Justin McCareins for a big gain after McCareins shook CB Chris McAlister with a nice stop-and-go. But KC, who had such a great rapport with McCareins in the preseason, barely overthrows McCareins, so Ben Graham gets off his first punt.
In a reverse on the Chris Baker non-forceout at Cleveland last year, Demetrius Williams is shoved out of bounds by David Barrett. Head linesman Tony Veteri ruled incomplete, but side judge Larry Rose came up, consulted with Veteri and then the call was changed to a forceout and a 13-yard first-down catch.
Baltimore uses that and other plays to move to first-and-goal at the 5. The Jets seemed in the early going to have a handle on stopping Willis McGahee, the old Jet-killer from his Buffalo days. His 2-yard run gives him 16 yards on six carries. Then comes a false start, then McGahee takes it 6 yards to the 2.
Then Boller rolls out, the Jets turn McGahee loose and Boller hits him with the 2-yard TD toss. Willis does it to the Jets again with his first career receiving touchdown
Ravens 7, Jets 0
Clemens pulls a Pennington trick out of his bag with a quick snap that catches Baltimore with 12 men on the field. Then he completes his first pass of the game and gets his first first down and first third-down conversion with a short toss to Laveranues Coles.
Clemens shows his newness on a near sack by Corey Ivy, bouncing off of the contact and continuing to roll right. That was the good part. But then instead of throwing the ball away, he tried to thread it to Jerricho Cotchery on the sideline. But Cotchery is well covered, and McAlister nearly comes up with the pick.
But then Clemens shows some veteran savvy when he avoids a Ravens sack, takes off with the ball, then just before hitting the LOS, flips it to Thomas Jones, who takes it 21 yards — the Jets’ longest play from scrimmage in this young season. Another Jones carry for 6 yards gives the visitors some nice momentum as the opening period comes to a close.
Tags: Chad Pennington, Ed Reed, Kellen Clemens, Mike Nugent
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